Director Venu’s last film Munnariyippu was a movie that I liked a lot because of its subtlety. It was presented as a man’s interesting intellectual arguments, but it ultimately talked about freedom. Carbon, the new film from the director again becomes an exciting watch because of the same subtlety factor. When you manage to understand Carbon, you will know that it is a message driven film. But never in its narrative has it talked about that message it wants to convey in a deliberate way. With incredible locations and fine performances backing the vision, this film is an engaging experience.
Siby is our central protagonist. He is a shortcut seeker. He has an eye for all the seemingly fraud business plans. From selling precious gems and barn owl, Siby has done most of the stuff to get money. This jobless guy was at one point appointed as the manager of a remote palace in the middle of a forest which was in really bad shape. He was assigned to make the palace a better place but a story about a treasure creates curiosity in the mind of Siby and the film is about his journey to find that treasure.
Siby in a way is the representative of the majority of the society and the rest in the main story are an example of what we should all be. The realness in the treatment makes this movie more natural and the greed doesn’t look synthetic. Through a humor driven first half, Venu shows us the obsession of Siby for making it big in short time. The film slips into that adventure zone in the second half and the tone shifts from being engaging to exciting. The writing adds a layer of mystery to the content. I liked the way Venu used the character played by Soubin Shahir to depict the mental state of the character. The only demerit in my view is that somewhere towards the last quarter, you can sort of guess what will our hero learn in the end. But still the visual grammar and the added emphasis on greed makes it still appealing.
Fahadh Faasil is becoming more and more natural and real with each film. From depicting the obsession to make money to becoming someone who is desperate for survival, this guy’s transformation is simply fabulous. There is a scene in the film where Siby justifies his seemingly crazy decision to stay on the course with an argument and I must say that the conviction level of Fahadh Faasil in that scene was terrific. Mamtha Mohandas is convincing as that jungle junkie Sameera. Manikandan Achari also gets into the skin of the character easily. Chetan as Kannan has apparently got a very key character that represents the ideology of the film. Soubin Shahir, Praveena, Kochupreman, Dileesh Pothan, Sphadikam George and Sharafudheen are the other main actors in this film.
Much like the opening credit sequence featuring a lizard in Munnariyippu, the backdrop of the opening credits scene of Carbon also has a connection with the ultimate theme of the movie. I am saying this to emphasize on the fact that even the small nuances in this film has significance. Drama is absolutely zero in conversations and through real limited conversations a lot of things are getting communicated. The cinematography by K U Mohanan has some fabulous shots of the wild which is spectacular and alarming. Those frames definitely help the film in getting into that intense zone. Edits are sharp. Background score was good. Excluding the one song by Rekha Baradwaj, the other songs were in sync with the movie. The sound design of the film was also really good.
Even if you analyze it on a peripheral level, Carbon is engaging. But if you take an effort to peel of the layers, there is more to its credit. It has flaws that are negligible when you look at the way they constructed this film that could have ended up as a preachy docu-fiction.
Carbon has flaws that are negligible when you look at the way they constructed this film that could have ended up as a preachy docu-fiction.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended