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Kappela, Another Outstanding  Malayalam Film!



Kappela, Another Outstanding  Malayalam Film! 12

Kappela (Netflix)

Starring  Anna Ben, Sreenath Bhasi,Roshan Mathew

Written & Directed  by  Muhammad Musthafa

Rating: ****(4 stars)

 Forget Bollywood, all the excitement this years seems to be happening in Malayalam cinema.  After  the  outstanding Mothoon  here comes  another whammy  from the  land of  gorgeous greenery.

Sure enough . Kappela  captures  the Kerala countryside with a caressing glance  that  we get only  in their  homespun  films. The film is set in rural Kerala, though  luckily there are no  coconut trees and football players .

This  nutty  anti-romcom takes  us  on an   unexpected   rollercoaster  ride…Rather , a  bumpy busride  where the film’s achingly  young inexperienced  rustic heroine  Jessy(Anna Ben) almost loses everything, only to have  her soul redeemed just in  time.

This is a kickass morality tale  . I am afraid to give away  the plot. Suffice it to say that  for all my movie-viewing  experience  I could have  never guessed what  the  writer-direcror Musthafa(believe  it  or not, this is  the actor-turned-director’s directorial  debut)  was  leading into.Nope, I never  saw the  twist coming. Life’s  life that.(I  can bet  it will be lapped up for  a Bollywood remake in  no time at all.)

The  film’s firs- half is  a dainty phone-romance between  Jessy and Vishnu(Roshan Matthew) a kindly helpful affable autorickshaw  driver whom Jessy dials  by  mistake. Therein begins their  sweet  romance, filled with  silly riddles and  frilly  giggles.

Mid-way  through the  film  Jessy decides to sneak away from her parental gaze  to meet  the  unseen love of her life.The  bus journey will change her life.

Suddenly the  serene  storytelling  swerves  into an unexpected  U –turn. For  about  20 minutes  of the second-half when the  film’s loutish   shamelessly  parasitical  hero  Roy(Sreenath Bhasi) is introduced, I thought I  was watching  another  film altogether.   But then the director, fully conscious of  where he  is going and with a grip on the moral graph of  the three main  protgaonists’ destiny,  manoeuvres  the story through the stormy  incidents with expertise.

There is  not  one idle moment in Kappela. The director’s eye  for detail is one of the  film’s  many virtues. In one sequence when Jessy gets into the window seat  of a bus in the pouring rain I actually saw raindrops on her seat. The  pace  through always in a race, never lacks in grace.

By the time the  films  screeches  to a halt three lives  are changed   irreversibly. And we  breathe a sigh  of relief .All is well in the world, at least this time. But for  all the  Jessys  of the world who venture  out to explore the  mystery  of  love, here is  awarning.Never  love  a stranger.

There is a beautiful tender moment at  the end when  Jessy , her bare feet  buried in the  watery sand stares into the sea that she’s seen  for  the first time. As  she gazes into  the  unfathomable   unknown we get a full measure of  what  life means. You  never know what it  has in store.

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