Halal Love Story
A review that I should have got to a day earlier, but couldn’t due to certain health issues. Anyway Thank God It Is Friday and I am back with another review. A while back as a part of an online skit in which I was acting, I had to record a monologue. That monologue took me more than 4 hours to get it recorded! Sometimes it was the costume, sometimes the light, sometimes the sound and sometimes the lines which were been fumbled on. And that gave me a perspective that filmmaking is one of the hardest jobs in business. It requires a large amount of skill and longer shift hours while we critics just write-off someone’s hard work in a jiffy. So, I have just finished watching the Malayalam flick Halal Love Story on Amazon Prime, which deals with this subject, the histrionics of filmmaking. Is it worth a watch, stay tuned.
Halal Love Story is a story of certain members of a village that come together to make a telefilm that is permissive(Halal) to their community. The story is simple but often simple premises make for great stories. The screenplay like in most Malayalam movies tackles smaller moments and transforms them into something beautiful, something that other industries do not. And here is no different. The process of filmmaking is the core ingredient here which is dealt with in a funny manner. So you witness the histrionics with a wide smile interspersed with laughter. But what gives the screenplay depth are the characters and their backstory that refrain the drama from being frivolous. Excellent screenplay! The dialogues are good but there is a downside to it too. The subtitles may not have done justice which is the case with most regional comedies. Many dialogues run the risk of being lost in translation. The music and BGM are good. Director Zakariya who last directed the outstanding and National Award winning Sudani From Nigeria(Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended) is once again on point here. His direction is subtle and allows the viewer to form opinions about the characters.
Parvathy Thiruvothu as Haseena is excellent in a cameo. You will just laugh your lungs out when Soubin Shahir is onscreen screaming Silence! What acting! Sharafudheen as Thoufeeq is nicely restrained and a very likable character. Abhiram Radhakrushman as Abhi is outstanding in many comic scenes. Joju George(who was outstanding in Joseph) is so natural as Siraj, outstanding acting! Grace Antonyy as Suhra is a fine actress and you get more than a glimpse of what she is capable of here. Indrajith Sukumaran as Shereef is actually required to act badly in a scene and he is pathetically brilliant. He is a great actor and for him to act badly also requires some skill. He is in total control here!
Halal Love Story is a nice little surprise from Amazon Prime. A word of caution though. If you do not like or aren’t familiar with Malayalam movies then this one will probably not impress you. But if you know how this industry functions and the movie that it keeps churning out then you will love this treat. This is what makes Malayalam industry special. A small industry willing to take risks which makes it well ahead of its time. Halal Love Story is available on prime and Highly Recommended!