Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar (ratheesh) wrote,
Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar
ratheesh

Karie

Watched Karie, Malayalam film directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas, who passed away recently. The film shows two Malayalees, Gopu and Bilal, traveling to a rural village of North Kerala. Gopu works in Oman, and Dineshan, one of his colleagues (or his employee?) in Oman is waiting for his visa to become permanent. Gopu and Bilal visit Dineshan's aging parents in his village. They realize that his parents are about to conduct a ritualistic vazhipadu involving a "karingali" performance on the next day at a local temple, for getting Dineshan established in his job. Because of various circumstances, Gopu and Bilal are stuck at the place, and they are having to take a lead on organizing the karingali vazhipadu.

I liked Karie for the way some of its bizarre imagery (like a karingali performer in full costumes running through the grass growing on dried up path of Nila river) is quite naturally integrated into a script that is very realistic. The director doesn't try to "explain" things, so we get a feel of watching a few scenes from the lives of the people involved, and are left to imagine some aspects connecting them. The film also aims to give subtle commentaries on social aspects like "caste sensitivity" in Kerala, so we are having to make our own deductions on Gopu's attitude towards the rituals, his behavior at Dineshan's home, and so on. Here too, the director just shows us the visuals and stays away without making any direct statements via background music or otherwise. I liked this freedom given to viewers, and the overall approach to film-making the director had.
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