The last film from Senna Hegde, Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, was a satire that can’t be called a plot-heavy film. It was a movie that managed to find hilarious instances from moments and characters. His new film, yet another Made in Kanhangad venture, 1744 White Alto, also explores a similar space, but this time in a quirky avatar. With a unique narrative, managing to engage you with its witty humor, 1744 White Alto from Senna Hegde is a true-blue crime comedy that satisfies its niche audience.
Mahesh, an SI in this fictional land, gets to investigate a murder case. From the witnesses, he manages to get the information that there were 2 men behind the crime, and they escaped in a white Alto car. The efforts of the police force to find these two and what all happens in that journey is what we witness in 1744 White Alto.
As I already said, it’s not a plot-driven film that keeps you curious about what happens in the story. The screenplay structuring by Senna Hegde and his Cinematographer Sreeraj Raveendran uses moments to divulge into politics and satirical digs at institutions. A very linear cat-and-mouse game, thus, gets a layered feel because of the detailing we get to see about almost every character. The visual style also subconsciously conveys the fact that the landscape and characters are in that eccentric unrealistic space.
There is a style of comedy that Sharaf U Dheen is comfortable playing, which is usually accompanied by a lot of verbal remarks. But with Mahesh, he uses the verbal aspect minimally, and it was the expressions that created the humor. Rajesh Madhavan, as the main criminal, is perhaps the normal-sounding character in the whole film, and he is not allowing the character to go into that comical zone. With almost zero dialogue on screen, Anand Manmadhan delivered a brilliant performance. It is actually in the last quarter of the film he gets a space. But I loved how his expression subtly changed when Vijayan’s sister-in-law called him dear before giving him a warning. Sajin CHerukayil was hilarious with his “intelligent” suggestions. Vincy Aloshious, Sminu Sijo, Ranji Kankol, Navas Vallikkunnu, and a few more names are there in the cast; frankly, none of them felt like a misfit.
Unlike Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, the scene choreography in 1744 White Alto is all the more meticulous. Everything has that staged feel, be it the placing of characters in a scene, the colors of the props, the guiding lines, or the lens used. It is almost like, what if Wes Anderson directed a Western film where you have peculiar and precise frames along with dry landscapes. Religion plays a key role in creating certain moments in the story, and in a humorous way, it mocks the superficial demands of religion. There is an inner story happening with each set of characters. Mahesh has a domestic tussle to solve between his wife and mother. Then he needs to deal with the stupid decisions of his colleagues. Even in the story of the criminals, there is this emotional angle where Kannan is getting affected by how everyone considers him a stupid, impulsive guy. Mujeeb Majeed’s music maintains the quirkiness of the movie.
If you are a fan of conventional filmmaking, the zany sense of humor of 1744 White Alto might not work for you. It might not be a rollicking ride from beginning to end, but the freshness and originality make it a special film that will definitely age well.
It might not be a rollicking ride from beginning to end, but the freshness and originality make it a special film that will definitely age well.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended