Starring George Kora, Gopikrishna Verma
Directed by George Kora, Sam Xavier
Rating: ** ½
Maybe I expected too much. From NeeStream which gave us the great The Great Indian Kitchen, comes a film which makes all the right moves to win our hearts but somehow fails to create the expected impact.Not that the film lacks visual and emotional amplitude.
The story of two brothers Thoma(George Cora) and Sebu(Gopikrishna Verma) who suffers from the Down Syndrome, has plenty of those heartwarming moments that make a emotionally satisfying family drama. However it all seems a little thin at the edges and crusty at the centre. The emotional interludes seem forced and manipulative. Though beautifully framed in idyllic rural Kerala, the bond between the two brothers never feels organic.
A major part of the film’s failing is George Cora’s performance which bleeds blitheness uncontrollably into every scene. He is forever flirting, bantering, joking, faffing and his life seems to be on a perpetual high-speed dial. Thoma is clearly not one to take his responsibilities as sibling to the specially abled Sebu seriously.
Also Thoma’s idea of “kidnapping” Sebu and whisking him away to their parental home in their native village is so far-fetched as to seem like a cheesy scriptural concoction. The first place that Sebu’s adoptive parents (Shanti Krishna, Gopal Mangat) would look for him is their childhood home.
Everything is way too conveniently planted into the plot . Gradually the whole experience , though pleasant , begins to feel like a leftover from Rain Man except that there are no Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman here. George Cora and Gopalkrishna Verma(the latter is a real-life Down Syndrome afflicted) are just adequate with Cora (who co-writes and co-directs) making so many faces constantly to remind us that this a happy film about an inherently unhappy circumstance,that he is borderline annoying.
I don’t think the mood of exaggerated euphoria works here. This is a film that demanded a more serious,thoughtful and reflective mood. It feels way too light and superficial. There is a specially-amiable episode in the village where the two brothers are taken in a by lonely aunt(Sarasa Balussery,so delightful in Sudani From Nigeria) whose son has deserted her.
The absence of seriousness, probably assumed to keep the proceedings upbeat, affects the film’s eco-system.It’s wonderful to laugh away at life’s troubles. But not at the of cost making the journey look compromised and undignified.