In the movie Sesham Mikeil Fathima, whenever Fathima, played by Kalyani Priyadarshan, is doing the one thing that she loves, that is commentating, the film has a vibrant energy that will really put a smile on your face. The only issue is that there is a second act in the movie, where the commentary part is in the backseat, and the film focuses more on the struggles of Fathima. Despite the escapist nature of the story, Sesham Mikeil Fathima manages to be a pleasing film mainly due to the energy it gets from its leading lady.
Fathima Noorjahan, a girl from Kerala’s Malappuram district, is our central character. She is that blabbering, talkative girl in the family who just loves talking. Seeing her commentating skills while watching football matches on TV, her elder brother one day asked her to do commentary for a Sevens match. The confidence the small gig gave Fathima and how she decided to pursue it as a career is what we witness in Sesham Mikeil Fathima.
When I heard the title of the movie and the topic, the very first thing that came to my head was, why Kalyani? It was very clear from her Malayalam movies that she is not that fluent in Malayalam, and even the makers of Thallumala had said that the character of Kalyani in that movie is an NRI character, so her accent wouldn’t be a problem. So, I was a bit skeptical about that casting choice. But I must say that it was actually a really good depiction of the Malappuram slang. With the kind of chemistry, the actors show on screen, there is a jovial energy associated with the movie in the initial portions of the film. But the movie sort of fizzles away into a vague zone when Manu C Kumar becomes a bit unsure about how to create roadblocks for Fathima. Even though the movie gains momentum in the last minutes, the fragility of the middle portions kind of disturbs the film’s rhythm.
Manu C Kumar skillfully establishes the character and her backdrop in the movie’s first hour. The vibrant energy of the character, her equation with her family members, and her passion for commentating are all captured in a real and fun way. Even the feminism shown in that portion has a subtlety to its credit. But as the movie shifted to Ernakulam, the subplots started to multiply, and it felt more like a pool of issues thrown at Fathima. The extent to which the Solomon track went in the movie felt like a distraction the film never wanted, and even the tracks that were created to show the difficult journey of a girl to reach a higher level lacked a smooth flow. Even though they weren’t placed smoothly in the film, I sort of liked the songs on an album level.
The biggest surprise and the most entertaining part of Sesham Mikeil Fathima was indeed Kalyani Priyadarshan, who performed the livewire character with absolute conviction. As I already mentioned, Kalyani has taken a lot of effort to pull off the slang with perfection, and even though there are minor issues here and there when the lines become too dramatic, you could sense the fire of Fathima in her. Aneesh G Menon, as the friendly and supportive brother, Asif, was fun to watch, and they both shared a wonderful chemistry. The performance of Sudheesh, as Fathima’s father Muneer, was really memorable. The performance of Priya Sreejith, who played the role of Fathima’s mother, was also wonderful. Minnal Murali fame Femina George plays the role of Fathima’s close friend Ramya. Then, we have Shaheen Siddique playing the character of a grumpy football player named Solomon. Sabumon Abdusamad played the role of the film’s main antagonist, and it was that usual politician character. Shaju Sreedhar, Maala Parvathy, Unnimaya Prasad, Navas Vallikkunnu, Balan Parakkal, etc., are the other major characters in the movie, along with a guest role from Tamil.
The film is somewhat clueless about handling the second act, and you can practically see that when you look at how they have placed the interval block, which comes out of nowhere. If the Kochi struggles of Fathima had the same energy and emotion we saw in the Malappuram portions, the movie would have easily been a terrific creation. With a lot of humor, progressive statements, and an energetic Kalyani Priyadarshan, Sesham Mikeil Fathima is an enjoyable film that needs a bit more refining in writing.
With a lot of humor, progressive statements, and an energetic Kalyani Priyadarshan, Sesham Mikeil Fathima is an enjoyable film that needs a bit more refining in writing.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended