‘Love’ Malayalam movie review: Everything that comes after (the emotion)
Rajisha Vijayan and Shine Tom Chacko star in this film about the inner workings of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks
After painting a warm, fuzzy, slice of life picture of ‘love’ in his debut film Anuraga Karikkin Vellam, Director Khalid Rahman delves into its murkier side with his third outing – Love. Rajisha Vijayan, who won a State Award for her performance in that film, plays one half of a pair whose marriage is on the rocks. Shine Tom Chacko, reuniting with Rahman after Unda, forms the other half.
Together, they play Anoop and Deepthi, a couple who once were in love; today, there is room for anything but that emotion. Deepthi realises she is pregnant and tries to get in touch with Anoop. He receives a message on his phone about a pregnancy, but that of another woman. They are at a stage where love, a feeling where respect is grossly overlooked for affection, has been drained from their lives.
Also Read | Get ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox. You can subscribe for free here
Shot during the lockdown, the narrative of Love is confined to the four walls of an apartment, resembling a domestic drama. Though domestic dramas — like Revolutionary Road or the recent Portrait of a Lady on Fire — normally trace the lives of its protagonists over a period of time, Love does not concern itself with the long haul.
- Director: Khalid Rahman
- Cast: Shine Tom Chacko, Rajisha Vijayan, Sudhi Koppa, Gokulan, Johny Antony, Veena Nandakumar
- Storyline: The inner workings of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks
If not for a brief montage (lasting barely a minute) about the couple fighting madly and making up with equal passion later on, Anoop and Deepthi’s backstory is relegated to photographs that adorn the walls of their apartment.
This is because the narrative is guised in the cloak of a thriller. Structured as an incident and its aftermath that unfurl inside an apartment, the proceedings are cleverly designed so as to mask the shortcomings posed by the pandemic.
And unlike C U Soon (another film shot during pandemic restrictions), which unravels through mobile phones and laptop screens, Love doesn’t feel contrived, aesthetically or technically. Khalid Rahman succeeds partially in his attempt to lend an air of authenticity.
Only partially because, for a movie shot with so many challenges in place, an area where it surprisingly falls short is its writing, This is despite the dark humour that adorns the narrative occasionally and a plot technique reminiscent of Inside Out.
But these aspects ultimately serve as embellishments to a story that nosedives towards the fag end. Hurting the movie’s cause is the final act that comes across as a stroke of convenience, making the entire plot look like an extrapolated short film.
Even Shine Tom Chacko, who shoulders the film along with the supporting cast of Sudheesh Koppa and Gokulan, fail to sustain the momentum. Love has a brisk runtime of 91 minutes. For once, maybe a few more minutes would have gone a long way towards adding plausibility and helping a film realise its potential.
Love is currently streaming on Netflix