Kumbalangi Nights review: Darkness is beautiful

Kumbalangi, a suburb of Kochi, is a bustling hub of life along the backwaters. And as darkness  descends, comes alive another facet of Kumbalangi.

As the camera peers into the darkness, the story of four brothers begins. The single-shot opening conversations involving Franky (Mathew), Bobby (Shane Nigam), Saji (Soubin Shahir) and Bony (Sreenath Bhasi) offer a glimpse of their lives, their dreams and fears.

Franky, studying at a boarding school, is a bright student who earns for himself with his scholarship. Bobby, a cool dude (freaken), is an ardent fan of English pop songs and does not desist from speaking his mind. All he wants  is to get married to Babymol (Anna Ben), who is head over heels in love with him. A deaf and dumb lad, Bony is calm and quiet but sharp with his eyes and actions. His dance school and the students are his priority. Saji, the eldest of them, looks rough but carries a lump inside. 

Their character differences not with standing, all of them yearn for a happy family and peaceful life. The story revolves around Bobby and his sweetheart Babymol, and how the three brothers help them get married and in turn get what they needed.

While the four characters go hand-in-hand, comes an extremely strange 'the complete man' Shammi (Fahadh Faasil). There is a brief face-off between Shammi and the four brothers. Each time he faces one of them, his eyes gleam with hatred.

His blood-shot eyes and scary demeanour make everyone who crosses his path look for cover.  Hate him or love him but Shammi sure does grab eyeballs. Fahadh Faasil earns applause for his brilliant portrayal of the tough guy, albeit with shades of grey. 

Not just Fahadh, other actors have also done justice to their roles and we barely get time for other distractions.

Shyam Pushkaran's writing has a magical touch, giving life to characters. Pushkaran, a Cherthala native, has effortlessly portrayed the interiors of a village-town, the backwaters, their lives and their relationships.

Debutant director Madhu C Narayanan belongs to the Aashiq Abu school of film-making and it's evident from the film 'Kumbalangi Nights'. What makes Kumbalangi Nights stand out is the varying characters.

There are no major twists and turns, no big fights and no big romance but all these elements have been brilliantly weaved into present a beautiful story.

Cinematographer Shyju Khalid's movies carry a sense of aesthetic throughout, the same is true about Kumbalangi too. Be it the night sequences or the day, the frames have been set in a delightful manner. And Sushin Shyam's music merges with it.

Kumbalangi Nights belongs to the league of films that will leave a smile on your face as you exit the theatres. A sense of satisfaction will follow and one is reminded that all a human being needs is love and love only. As it goes, nights are beautiful, so are the Kumbalangi Nights.

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