Of Kumbalangi Nights

There are actors, many of them, then there is Fahad Faasil. Fahad must have a different measuring scale of acting prowess, if you don’t believe me please watch’ Kumbalangi Nights’.

My first encounter with the word Kumbalangi was when I was in Cochin for a training, I asked the participants, ‘where are you from’ in a typical, Malayali expression of ‘how do you do’ and he said, ‘Kumbalangi’, I had never heard of the place before and found it extremely funny.

Sometimes, laughter threatens to pounce on me with a vengeance, it was about to happen that day, but I controlled myself and uttered a civilized, ‘Oh, is it’ saving my dignity.

Kumbalangi Nights takes you to a setting that is almost surreal, the deep blue waters, the china nets, the canoeing in and out through the village, only hinting at the lurking possibilities of darkness in the vile-now, not so vile, but polished smile of Fahad, springing beneath his top class bushy mustache…oh, what a smile, reminding one of the quote  “O villainvillainsmiling, damned villain!” from Hamlet.

But the tension built up in the story telling is such that one does not know or cannot comprehend what is going to happen, where will the evil appear, though there is a promise of the same it is difficult to predict until it is unleashed.

In fact all the characters in the movie have done their parts well, the innocent almost drunk in delight smile of Franky, the transformation of Saji, the love story of Bobby and Baby and the silence of Bony. Simmi, Shammy’s friend, Saji’s partner in business, his wife, each character is beautifully etched.

Kumbalangi Nights is a classic. It looks deep into the diabolic in the decent, the so-called normal and leaves the audience speculative, asking perhaps, ‘so, what’s behind the mask?’

Kumbalangi Nights