This is probably the third anthology of the year already! The weekend has finally started and with the stupendous response to my review of Gehraiyaan, the energy in me is buzzing. With that I finished watching the new Malayalam anthology film Freedom Fight on Sonyliv. The thing which was fascinating for me was that it was from the makers who brought us one of the best films of last year The Great Indian Kitchen. And you would associate a certain level of quality associated with the film. So then is Freedom Fight worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Freedom Fight is an anthology comprising of 5 stories wherein each of the protagonists in each of the stories are battling a conflict. So freedom here is used as a metaphor. And all the stories are excellent and instantly leave an impact.
The first story titled Geethu Unchained is a clever wordplay on the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. It follows the story of a young woman’s fight against the society Nd patriarchy. The screenplay here is pretty smooth and presented in a quirky manner. Many young girls would be able to relate to this drama especially when they are forced to get married or if they are asked out by a guy who likes them or similar such events. This one really leaves a lasting impression.
The second story is titled Penkoottu is one of my joint favourites. A story of a group of women seeking their right to build toilets which are a basic necessity in today’s times. The screenplay really showcases the hardships of women even in cities who need to use washrooms during the work hours. The documentary style narrative really is very interesting and works so well here. This film comes with my highest recommendation.
The third story titled Ration is another favourite of mine. A simple story of a housewife and a day in her life which changes after an interim misunderstanding with her neighbour. The screenplay is simple yet depicts the harsh reality and the divide between the upper and lower middle class people. The way the drama unfolds makes it relatable yet it ends on such a hard-hitting note. Again highly recommended!
The fourth story titled Old Age Home is perhaps the most subtle film of the lot. A story of a maid whose loyalty is tested as she is caught between a conflict at her employer’s place. The screenplay here is a slow burn yet the layered storytelling is the highlight here. The common age related problems which people face and how that impacts the people around them is so brilliantly showcased. This one leaves you on a bitter sweet note.
The fifth story titled Pra. Thoo. Mu is perhaps the most hard hitting of the lot. A topic of manual scavenging which itself is a sensitive topic and something that I wish nobody resorts too(could use with some sort of automation here), the story here is gut wrenching. The screenplay agains represents the class divide and how certain people just do not exist for ministers who have all the power in the world. And the writing goes all out here. Shot in monochrome, this one left me numb by the end of it. One of ny joint favourites this!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues range from being subtle to conversational to simply impactful and all of them are good. The music and BGM are sparingly used. Director Akhil Anilkumar does full justice with the first story. Director Kunjila Maschillamani has done a splendid job with the second story, the way she brings out the issue and addresses is seems to real(which it is). Francies Loius who directed the third story keeps it simple yet very efficient. He has done a brilliant job here. Director Jeo Baby who was the man behind The Great Indian Kitchen is in fine form in the fourth story. He is able to tap into the nuances of the tale pretty well. Jithin Isaac Thomas goes all out with the fifth story and he does an outstanding job here, so hard hitting and gut wrenching not to mention squirming.
The performances are excellent here. Rajisha Vijayan as Geethu is just so brilliant. The way she makes her character relatable is refreshing to watch. Srindaa as Ashwathi is excellent and again a very grounded character which she has portrayed. Kabani Saira is also pretty good here. Rohini Molleti is first rate here, as is Joju George who is absolutely my favourite. Unnilalu and Sidhartha Siva are both excellent and they feed off their energies pretty well.
Freedom Fight is yet another brilliant anthology with the Malayalam Industry at the helm of it. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended.