Eeda is also for everyone who has blindly ever fallen in love and has also found the raw courage to fight for it come what may, writes Deepa Antony.
In a very good start to the year, Eeda makes a strong case in the ‘realistic’ genre of cinemas. Written, edited and directed by B Ajithkumar, Eeda has Nimisha Sajayan and Shane Nigam in the lead with Alancier Ley Lopez, P. Balachandran, Sujith Sankar, Manikandan Achari, Surabhi Lakshmi and Sudhi Koppa playing other important characters.
Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, albeit the ending, Eeda is the love story of Anand and Aishwarya whose families have traditionally borne allegiance to rival political parties in a hamlet of Kannur. Set in the heart of North Malabar riddled by political rivalry, Anand and Aishwarya have kept their lives away from politics inspite of having lived at the centre of the turmoil all their lives.
Nimisha Sajayan plays Aishwarya to complete justice. However, her character is not very different from her role of Sreeja from Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. Like Sreeja, Aiswarya is strong, determinant and ready to fight for what she wants. Yet, unlike Sreeja, Aiswarya has a more modern outlook even while she is traditional in her ways. She is practical and also isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Shot in Northern Malabar and Mysore, Pappu cranks the camera of this film. His visuals with respect to the main thread of the narrative show Malabar in its picturesque glory while the visuals shot in Mysore show a sense of freedom. Freedom from the coloured flags and the years of ideological oppression it comes with. The visuals speak volumes; something that happens in a rarity of a story well written.
The film, though superficially hides the parties under the names KJP and KPM, there are no points on guessing which is which. Ironically, Sujith Shanker, the grandson of the legendary Communist leader and the first Chief Minister of Kerala, E M S Namboodiripad, even plays an important role as a left party leader who is pro-violence.
A slow paced narrative seems to be a flavor that is catching up with Malayalam movies these days. But too much of anything can be a bane. Such is the only bane with Eeda. There is a sequence in the movie were Anand who called in sick at work stays home. For no rhyme and reason we are made to watch him open the door to a delivery guy who came in with food for his room-mate, take money from his room-mate to pay the delivery guy and then bring back the packet of food to this room-mate and then leave the room. The lengthy scene serves no purpose! And, it makes you think that this almost 3hr long movie could have shed some of its scenes to make it crisper and hence nicer to watch. Did the ace editor turned director slightly falter at his stronghold? You decide.
But Eeda is still a movie worth your time. It will remind you of a Shaksperean sonnet in part and Annayum Rasoolum in parts, and that is the beauty of it. It is for every Malayali who has ever been disturbed by the political rivalry in Kannur that claims lives of people they “celebrate” as martyrs. Eeda is a take on the social and political scenario of turning martyrs into petty statistics and tally charts for political parties to revel, rebel and shed blood over. Eeda is also for everyone who has blindly ever fallen in love and has also found the raw courage to fight for it come what may.
- Shane Nigam