Kerala Cafe

preoccupied: Mammootty in ‘Kerala Cafe’.

Touted as the first-ever anthological production in Malayalam cinema, ‘Kerala Café’ is more of an experiment and less of merriment. Of course, it has a few touching stories of contemporary relevance. But the flippant ones that give the bitterness of boredom can’t be overlooked. All are loosely threaded together with a humdrum cafeteria as their common resting point.

The package opens with ‘Nostalgia’ directed by Padmakumar. Dileep in the lead plays an NRI.

He is neither paternal nor filial and tactfully eludes hangers-on.

‘Island Express’ spurs sad memories of the Peruman train tragedy, but the cast looks over-crowded and the plot appears high-brow. ‘Off Season’ also seems falling flat with clichéd Suraj humour and a flimsy storyline.

In ‘Subha Yatra’ Jagathy Sreekumar emotes effortlessly the role of an insurance agent whose prime hobby is ogling beautiful gals.

Suresh Gopi in ‘Lalitham Hiranmayam’ is a distraught married man caught in a love triangle.

‘Mritunjayam’ brings to us some spooky images and mystery that shrouds a haunted ‘mana’, while in ‘Aviraman’ we see an IT entrepreneur weighed down by debts in recession times. ‘Bridge’ and ‘Makal’ have realistic heart-rending moments. Both tell the torrid tale of separation. ‘Makal’ directed by Revathy has a strong, poignant theme of child trade.

‘Puram Kazchakal’ is the last in the sequence, where Mammooty and Srinivasan make their presence. It is a hint at fleeting love, generation-gap and lack of civic sense.
Director Ranjith’s concept may seem odd to everyman, but ‘Kerala Café’ could be better watched as a café serial!

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