It seems that we are quite reluctant to see reality onscreen. Watching Shyamaprasad’s English among an audience who were just looking for the catered fun was indeed a disappointing experience. A movie rich with real emotions deserved a much better acceptance. The film is a parallel narrative that throws light on the goodness of the orthodox minds in a modern setup. The difficulties they had to face in this world because of the innocence and genuine care they have for others is visible throughout the narrative.
The story here is divided into subplots that are vaguely connected. There is a Joy who runs a grocery shop and he has this amazing care for his mother whom he believes have struggled a lot for her children. There is a Tamil woman Saraswathy married to a Malayali doctor, who is finding it hard to connect with the London lifestyle and she is kind of a loner with her Husband and children making fun of her orthodox thoughts. Shankaran is an innocent Kathakali artist who is there to make a life so that he can marry the girl he loved. A womanizer Sibin, who is kind of detached from his family and is in search of a soul mate. The newly married Gauri is quite new to the town and Sibin is impressed with her genuine care. The movie is about the decisions these characters took and the fate they had to face when life threw some emotional hazards on their way.
The kind of solitude these individuals had to go through has been pictured in an intense way. To make the audience look through the perspective of an individual who is emotionally a loner is something great and I believe the makers have done an awesome job. They have planted characters of different shades in this drama including someone who is unorthodox. Each of the main protagonists will surely remain in our heads for various reasons. The character played by Joy is something that we can see already in the society. His love for his mother, the way he cares for his daughter and how he tries to protect his brother are all quite real. Shankaran’s innocence and the destruction of that fragile mind are so touching. Saraswathy’s recovery from the shock is somewhat a solution to many of the brittle modern day relationships. Sibin’s discovery about true love is also something that appeals to the younger minds about where not to cross the line.
On screen, my favorite was Mukesh. The way the actor carried the role was simply awesome and I really had tears in my eyes on the scene where he takes the shower. Nadia Moidu portrayed the role of Saraswathy really well. Murali Menon was impressive as her better half. Jayasurya once again impresses with his Shankaran avatar. Even though the Kathakali needed a bit more polishing, the way he conveyed the breakdown was really intense. Nivin Pauly proved that he can go beyond the typical chocolate hero level. Sona Nair is good in her role as Saly. Remya Nambeesan does not have much challenge. Rest of the cast also has done their job.
Shyamaprasad’s direction is really impressive. The real feel that he always manages to put in his frames is definitely there. Making the movie engaging without the help of background score is a tough task and he has done the job smartly here. The script is never really boring as it maintains a steady speed. The predictability in the conclusion of the stories of Shankaran and Saraswathy can be considered as a drawback. Cinematography is convincing and the edits are also good. No great use of background scores. Occasionally placed songs of Rex Vijayan are impressive. The sync sound is quite good when compared to Arike.
Overall, English is a movie that travels through the reality in relationships. If you have patience and willingness to see life in a realistic canvas, do watch this film. If slapstick comedy, background scores and conventional preaching is your favorite dish you may find it dull. I am giving 3.5/5 and thumbs up for director Shyamaprasad’s English: An Autumn in London.
English is a movie that travels through the reality in relationships. If you have patience and willingness to see life in a realistic canvas, do watch this film.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended