It was only the last month where I had witnessed one of the finest Malayalam movies that accurately depicted the patriarchy that is prevalent in our society. That memorable film was The Great Indian Kitchen. Recently I got to know of another lesser known Malayalam movie tackling a similar theme which had premiered on a brand new OTT platform called Cave App. That movie was Biriyani and I decided to watch it and review it. The thing was I went into the movie blind and I have just finished watching it. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Biriyani follows the story of a young married Muslim woman who decides to break the shackles of religion and her desires after an expected event. Right from its first opening sequence you get to know that this is a bold film that would go all out in its treatment. The screenplay is a no holds bar and definitely goes all out. I cannot last remember an Indian film that is so raw and so bold in the portrayal of religion and patriarchy. There are so many graphic scenes that are disturbing to watch and witness that you will turn your faces away. There are also graphic love making scenes with frontal nudity that goes in line with its brave approach. The issues that are prevalent are showcased deftly without being preachy or underlining any facts. The slow nature of the screenplay allows you to grasp better. The second half is twisted and ends in the most aghastly fashion that will make you squirm in your seat more often than not. That end is repulsive and probably one of the most disturbing ends that I have ever scene especially as a revenge drama. At the end of it, I required some time to digest the story that I just witnessed. But it did stay with me long after it had ended.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle that leave a lasting impact. The BGM adds a layer of intrigue to the drama again with its minimal use. Director Sajin Baabu probably thrives in taking risks and here he has gone all out. The direction is unapologetic and real and makes you uncomfortable more often than not.
All performances are excellent but it is Kani Kusruti as Khadeeja that delivers a performance for the ages. You may have seen her in the web series Ok Computer. Here she makes a 180 degree turn in a more serious role that is extremely raw and bold. Her little gestures to internalising pain to just giving in eventually with pain reflecting in her eyes, she does it all. <span;>This is probably one of the best performances I have ever seen in a Malayalam film male or female.
If you have enjoyed The Great Indian Kitchen, make sure to watch Biriyani. It is bold, raw and brave. You need a strong gut to digest this Biriyani. Available on the Cave App and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.