Review: Fine performances lift simple sibling saga

Prithviraj and Nazriya are terrific in Anjali Menon's Koode.

Film: Koode

Director: Anjali Menon

Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Nazriya Nazim, Parvathy, Ranjith.

Stars: ***

It appears like after Bangalore Days, the high-spirited and dense film with a power-packed star cast, director Anjali Menon wanted to do something more lighter in terms of content.

For Koode, adapted from Marathi's Happy Journey, is a simple tale of relationships that is driven largely by the picturesque backdrop (Ooty), a soothing background score (Raghu Dixit makes an impressive debut) and vulnerable yet likeable characters.

The film begins with Joshua (Prithviraj Sukumaran), working in Dubai, receiving the news of his sister Jenny's (Nazriya Nazim) demise. As Joshua returns home, the film's message becomes clear rightaway. Joshua's family yearns for togetherness. The symbolism is evident. Joshua's father repairs cars and toys but it's his disjointed family that needs care. Joshua is indifferent towards his parents for having burdened him to earn from the tender age of 15.

Anjali spends the first half setting the stage than pushing the story forward and that's a drawback. Just when the gloomy mood and ample dose of nostalgia seem to be turning into a full blown migraine, enters Nazriya.

Jenny wants her brother to relive his childhood and realise his unfulfilled dreams. That's when Koode provides heart-warming episodes. Nazriya's role of a chirpy youngster gives us a deja vu feeling but that's exactly what the film needs and she is terrific. Prithviraj superbly underplays the character of a self-doubting youngster who undergoes a positive transformation.

But it's the treatment of Parvathy Menon's role (as Sophie) that is disappointing. For somebody who struck a balance despite the ensemble cast in Bangalore Days, Anjali has very little to offer Parvathy here. Sophie, as Joshua's lover, has many moments to turn into an interesting character, like when she decides to divorce her alcoholic husband or when she steps out to elope with Joshua or when she struggles to confess her love to Joshua. These are promising scenes hampered by loose writing. This kind of writing is a recurring problem as some scenes are explained more than necessary.

Koode isn't for those looking for an engaging drama. The film, however, is a delight for people who love simple films high on emotions. As for Anjali, her fine understanding of the craft and her ability to connect with people from all sections, makes her an important filmmaker

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Review: Fine performances lift simple sibling saga

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