AKALE was released in 2004. I still remember watching this movie along with just four other people in Trivandrum's Sree theatre I am in the process of digging my old movie reviews and publishing it here.
I am not any kind of conventional film analyst,but after watchin syamaprasads "akale"i can swear tht i would hav made a better film ....
The film is based on tenesse williams"the glass menagerie"(which i havnt read) but from the mood of the movie its sure that syamprasad hasnt tampered with the original.the gr8tst flaw of the movie is tht sprasad harps on the original without introducin any other element in the movie.
The movie starts off in calcutta(any art film directors delite),camera runs thru the hoogly river and the tram way(best place for an aged pritviraj to retrospect) and soon v land @ someplace in kannur/thaleserry where anglo indians and portugese reside in plenty.rose(geethu mohandas) is neil(pritvi) sister- a cripple who has lost interest in life and who confines herself to the four walls of her room and plays with her glass animals.pritvi is a typical 1975 angry young man- a frustrated youth who is ambitious ,reads dh lawrence and more than anythn else wants to xtricate himself from the problems in his house.sheela is their mom who somehow wants 2 get geethu 2 get married off to any " good lookin,non alcoholic" anglo indian youth.
then enters freddy ewans(the producer himself) who brings in a ray of hope into geethus life but finally deserts her.she is grief stricken and never returns from tht dilemma and finally dies.in between this pritvi walks out from his house in serch of greener pastures and finally becomes a bearded buji story writer....how pritvi feels for his sister geethu after her death is the crux of the story.
the main prob with akale is the approach to the story.the life of geethu makes us sad but never haunts us after v leave the theatre.the relation and break up of freddy and geethu is also half baked....W
hat makes me really angry is tht the film gets over in barely 1 and quarter hr.he could atlest worked on the relation bw pritvi and geethu instead of shrinkin it to a scene or two.i herd syamaprasad say somewhere tht only films based on novels can help malayalam cinema revive, but i think thers no point in makin films like this.his erlier work "agnisakshi "was commendable only becos of rajat kapurs acting and the dialogues(taken ditto from the novel "agnisakshi")...i think syamaprasad has 2 realize tht film making is somethin much more complex than serial n documentary making....
about the acting,geethu mohandas does a really good job.she emotes really well and never looks strained....sheela is just ok.the young pritvi looks good,acts well but the aged pritvi fails to impress just because of his makeup.his dialogues also seems strained...he really has 2 go a far way to reach the league of mohanlal n mammoty...the producer as freddy ewans deserves some words because he scores well as a sober,romantic person.
on the whole "akale" has its good bits but on the whole syamaprasad and co could hav made a far far better movie....the promos on tv are really good but i think thtz not enough to woo mallu audiences.they still remain "akale" from sree theatre, because on a saturday noon i could find only about 25 people in the theatre,most of them hapless people like me who desperately want to see good malayalam cinema.