Friday, May 5, 2017

CIA: Comrade in America (Movie Review)

CIA: Love Can Make You Cross Borders!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark

Satyajit Ray once said – “The director is the only person who knows what the film is about”.

If I take a cue from his quote I doubt whether Amal Neerad  himself did know what the film he is making about here in this case of ‘Comrade in America (CIA). The name and some of the early trailers which were released are misleading. It makes one feel that it has something to do with revolution and the erstwhile communist leaders like Che Guevara. Rather the film CIA reduces these communist leaders like Lenin, Karl Marx and Che Guevara into caricatures and put them into funny scenes which has nothing to do with its ideology and history.

CIA is about a young man called Aji Mathew aka Ajipan from Pala who has left leanings and is a staunch student leader of his town. Aji Mathew is a hero in his college and among his friends as he is found being approached by students to settle scores and solve issues. Ajipan and his father are at loggerheads politically but have an untold understanding and liking for each other which goes beyond their political squabbles. Comrade Aji Mathew falls in love with a US returned girl Sarah who leaves him and goes back to US under family pressure. The rest is Comrade Ajipan’s adventurous travel to the US to find his love.
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The story begins with a scene where DYFI (Democartic Youth Federation of India) a youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)) leading an agitation against the finance minister for reasons known only to Amal Neerad the Director and Shibin Francis the Script Writer. Amal Neerad and Shibin Francis fails to develop completely any of the characters they parade on screen and ends up delivering an under cooked film which is laughable and trashy.

CIA claims to dedicate this film to millions of migrants in the world and does a veiled attack on US President Trump’s proposed border wall that would eventually stop animals and people that have migrated for centuries across the US’s southern border with Mexico. Is it a formula cleverly devised by the current filmmakers to piggyback some current social and political issues which they superficially and with least sincerity turn into stories with the false hope of making it into a runaway success? The very recent movie ‘The Great Father’ of Mammooty was a highly irresponsible and insensitive movie made on child abuse and rape. These movies ridicule and reduce sensitive and socially relevant issues by superficial treatments and less researched story telling. Raveena Tandon’s ‘Maatr’ is another movie that is inspired by the Nirbhaya case that tries to piggy ride a burning issue and reduces it into heroism with some absurd and unrealistic scenes.
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It’s high time that the current lot of filmmakers become more sensitive and responsible in at least picking up social issues when they decide to make them into films.
Having said this there are movies like ‘Takeoff’ which made a tremendous impact on the viewers by portraying the political issue of addressing the ordeal of Indian nurses in Tikrit in Iraq and their rescue from there to India. This directorial debut of editor turned filmmaker Mahesh Narayan received all round appreciation for its sensible handling of the incident.

In short, Dulquer fans can throng the theatres to watch their hero perform with utmost ease but unfortunately in a nonsensical movie.  The girls Karthika Muraldharan and Priyanka Nair in the movie have nothing to do and are neither good nor memorable. Siddique as Dulquer’s father steal the show by his act and that is the only relief in the movie. Comrade Lenin, Karl Marx and Che Guevara might be planning to make a comeback to avenge this political disaster of theirs in CIA (Pun Intended).

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2 /5

Cast: Dulquer Salman, Karthika Muralidharan, Priyanka Nair, Chandini Sreedharan, Soubin Shahir, Jinu Joseph, Dileesh Pothan, John Vijay, Vishnu Gopal Nair, Nandamuri Balakrishna

Genre: Rom Com

Director: Amal Neerad

Producer: Ajmal Khalid

Written by: Shibin Francis

Music by: Gopi Sunder

Cinematography: Renadive

Edited by: Praveen Prabhakar

Production Company: Amal Neerad Productions

Distributor: A & A Release

Release Date: 5th May, 2017

Duration: 135 Minutes

Language: Malayalam