Film : Appuchi Gramam
Director : Vi Anand
Cast : Praveen Kumar, Vishnu Muralee, Anusha, Swasika
With sci-fi as the backdrop, debutant director Anand weaves a tale of human emotions and relationships, and the changing equations between humans in the face of disater. It’s a simple tale narrated in an uncomplicated manner, and this is the strength of the film. Refreshing in its take and mildly satirical on the idiosyncrasies of humans, it keeps one engaged for its crisp 118 minutes of viewing time.
It’s a small sleepy village with nothing much happening in it, if not for the running feud between two step brothers (Joe Mallury, G M Kumar). Apart from the rivalry between the siblings, the mild happenings there include a couple of love affairs. The plot moves at a snail’s pace here with nothing exciting. But the village comes to life when scientists predict a meteorite falling on the village and its surrounding areas. Midway through, the narration gains momentum. With doomsday approaching, it brings in some emotional upheaval among the villagers. A lonely widow yearns for her son who is abroad. The step brothers have a change of heart. There are superstitions woven around the scientific happening. TV channels enter the village and the simple villagers are taken aback by the exaggerated news relayed.
The villagers worship a fallen piece of meteorite as their deity, in an amusing scene. It’s a fine touch by the director where the widow opens up the cages to let the birds free, only to see them return to the fold. An element of suspense is generated towards the second half when the villagers gear up for the phenomenon. There is a twist in the end when one thinks it’s all over. The closing scenes of the crucial moment is a vision of colours; the special effects are commendable for a movie with its limited budget. Experimental in its theme, it moves away from routine formula elements.