Director: Ashiq Abu Cast: Rima Kallingal, Fahad Fazil
There are movies. And there are movies that grab you by the collar and shake you up and you leave the Cinemax with the movie still lingering on your mind. That is the kind of movie 22 FK belongs to. Let me begin by applauding the commitment of the whole Ashiq Abu team put into making this maverick of a film.
We have been observing and commenting about the trend of new age malayalam films these days addressing the modern youth culture and many bold issues. Many of them are just wannabies and I am being extremely blunt and frank about it. Very few of them were actually impressive. Others good in portions. It seemed like an evolution process being properly fruitful with the making of 22 FK.
Tessa K Abraham, our girl, is a nurse in Bangalore trying to make it big abroad. She meets Cyril and of course love kindles between them. But looks can be deceiving. The film takes the U turn and you witness what can be touted as one of the best Revenge flicks in malayalam since ‘Season’. The movie had obvious inspirations from Kill Bill and Ek Hasina Dhi, which is shown in the filmography in the end credits. And I adore revenge flicks especially if they are poetic.
22 FK is bold. Its not just bold in openly willing to say things that are taboo in our conservative society. There are ‘new age films’ who try to be bold for style or the heck of it. Not just that. There was boldness in the characters and the plot. It stood for the lakhs of women who try to make a difference in their lives, their fights, their struggles under men and how they deal with it, the multi-faceted personality of woman. It is a women emancipation film at its core. This is the film’s boldness. It strips out our male chauvinist society and the problems with our perception of women. The matter of fact depiction of a lot of youth culture elements seemed so convincing. The whole film in its entirety had to essay various roles which seemed so effortless, from the romance to the gritty, raw U turn the movie takes to the stylistic revenge. Any other film trying to do this will seem jerky and unfocused.
Ashiq Abu is a guy who is getting better and better with each movie he makes. Daddy Cool had so much fun when the movie began, but instead of sticking to fun …we know that movie sucked. Salt n Pepper was even much better. It had so much fun, food and laughs. But still it dragged unnecessarily at places. 22FK bowled me over. This proved his complete potential. He dribbled genres and still could enhance the mood of the film and keep the screenplay slick and not dragging.
Abhilash Kumar and Shyam Pushkaran has done splendid work with the script and dialogues. They are not cheesy and unconvincing modern youth (supposedly) slang, but refreshing and spontaneous. The second half might seem a bit dragging but it was a necessary length I would argue.
Cinematography by Shyju Khalid to suit the various moods of the film was inspiring. Such experiments and innovations will definitely add to the modern narratives being tried by others.
Title song by Avial opens up as the movie begins and you feel the freshness of the music. Towards the end it becomes more electric and raunchy which adds to the style with poise. Innovations with the background score, great work by Rex and Biji Bal.
Performances by Rima and Fahad were astounding. I say it again, Rima has given us our own Biatrix Kiddo with this flick. She celebrates womanhood. Stands for all the women. I really felt she will go places with her performance. And Fahad has become the young face of Malayalam films. No its not Asif Ali or the other ‘almost’ guys. Its Fahad. Beginning to admire the actor in him. The roles he choose might seem similar on face value but he depicts the character Cyril with a lot of depth. The supporting actors (all of them) get a special mention.
22FK had a type of commitment to make cinema awesome which is lacking in most new malayalam movies. The commitment trickled down to all the layers of the film making and that adds to the over all victory of the film. Also the clever inspirations and not blatant copy or adaptations of other films was brilliant. It is not a movie you should go as a family but it is a movie that everyone of us must watch and reflect upon it, appreciate the various women in our lives, try not to take them for granted and accept them for who they are.
22 FK is a celebration of womanhood!
Rating: Must Watch at all costs.