ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Summer with Leela

Though it lacks conviction or a reasonable raison d’être and disappoints overall, the recent Malayalam film, Leela, may well have been saved by sustaining the appetite for the new.

It is refreshing to see that Malayalam cinema has started exploring untrodden paths, posing uncomfortable questions though providing no answers, and plucking out unusual characters and happenings from the mundane. Long gone are the days when abject poverty, unemployment of the youth, and crimes—both harmful and harmless—caught the fancy of the average Malayalam film-maker. There is a definite turn in the path, very sharp, even for films that hit the box office only with the benevolent presence of superstars. Contemporary themes of more freedom for thought, freedom-loving women, and the mocking of the young generation who question the unwritten codes of society are like a welcome gush of fresh air, right in the middle of the scorching summer.

However, in this context, Leela, a film released in April by the veteran director Ranjith (who has to his credit nearly 60 films made over two decades, many of them hits), based on a story written by R Unni, generally disappoints. This was a film for which film viewers of Kerala had high expectations, so the audience disappointment was multiplied.

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