“Rainbow, won’t you look this way… with a glass of dense mist” which plays in the second half warmly denotes the melancholic nature in Anjali Menon’s Koode. As a rainbow shines above with all its glory, playing with sun and the rain – the dense mist on the glass resembles the relationships. Putting in perspective, on a side note the drops are evaporating while on other they’re accumulating – Anjali Menon weaves a strong bond in those droplets. Koode is an adaption of Sachin Kundalkar’s Happy Journey (2014), loved the original to the core – here, Anjali Menon spells a magical depth threading delicate nuances within the realms of melancholy and humour.
Joshua (Prithviraj) working rigorously in Gulf returns to his hometown in the hills of Nilgiris who has a young sibling Jenny (Nazriya Nazim), they share a unique heavenly-driven connection. As the story unfolds, the frames slowly engulfs into the character world of Joshua and his loved ones – Father, Mother, Sophie and Jenny. Screenplay by Anjali Menon moves patiently while dwelling through the layers of relationships, without any forced scenes except for the repetitiveness of the familial bonding. Sensitively handling the human emotions with lots of love, care and humour seems to be her reign, here, she swiftly moves between varied emotions. There’s nothing left untouched here, every facial tic, object, location and even natural setting tells a story.
There’s a train of emotion throughout the film which moves patiently -centralised with a brother-sister relationship. Each character has a unique set of identity which are more relatable and the simple treatment lends a depth. Teen Joshua aspires with toy trains, but soon a major train journey makes his world upside – and the trains never returns back with his real soul. Anjali Menon’s domain “coming-of-age” works here in a different setting, the character arc lends freedom from his loneliness because liabilities dumped on. Joshua’s lifeless soul transforms into a soulful journey of self-discovery and letting himself out from the webs of liabilities while marching towards care instead of duty with Jenny’s help. Despite it’s connectivity factor, it runs around 2 hours 35 mins which makes a little extra-run with immersive mileage yet average speed.
Set in picturesque Ooty, Cinematographer Littil Swayamp hypnotises the frames in form of heavenly glance. Raghu Dixit’s background score perfectly co-works with the emotions, without manipulating them over BGM yet reaching the soul out. M Jayachandran’s delightful lullaby Minnaminni brought me into tears while Dixit’s Vannaville nudged the heart and Paranne opened the cage for my heart to soar high.
Prithviraj Sukumaran travels through a range of emotions and under Anjali Menon’s phenomenal direction, he delivers an authentic and a memorable performance. It was so refreshing to witness him deliver from his usual outings, the strength and evolution he brings into Joshua’s character is something that’ll be remembered throughout his filmography. Nazriya Nazim, who makes a comeback after 4 years (last seen in Menon’s Bangalore Days) wins the heart with her zany and bubbly character Jenny. Brimming a positive vibe into Jenny, Nazriya’s innocence matches her adorability. And there’s an excellent ensemble featured who level up already notched film – Ranjith, Parvathy, Roshan Mathew, Maala Parvathi and Atul Kulkarni.
“Together…” as the title track strikes, Anjali Menon seamlessly captivates heaven and reality inside a heartwarming unique and heavenly tale of a Brother-Sister. Koode is a soulful film in its truest sense.
Release: 14 July, 2018
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