Sep 18, 2006

CLASSMATES - a nostalgic cinema !


My Onam was indeed funfilled, be it for movies, be it for roaming around with friends, be it for hogging in restaurants, I really enjoyed being in Trivandrum for a pretty long vacation. Time has come to elucidate those people who haven’t yet witnessed one of the perfect movie making in Classmates and the only Onam release which I had watched twice J. I am really asking for it eh? So here it goes.
Classmates opens up with the 1991-Chemistry batch reunion in the CMS college campus, kottayam, where the “classmates” did their graduation. There is a lump sum of characters involved where you can see some carrying their babies, some who have gone chubby, some who have long beards, on the whole a complete delight for each and every batch mate to watch others. This meeting among P.Sukumaran(Prithviraj), Pias(Indrajeet), Sathisan(Jayasurya), Tara(Kavya) and Razia(Radhika) has its own importance in every one’s life and the major reason why they converge is to pay tribute to their no more ex-classmate Murali(Sunil alias Naren). It is Murali’s father(Balachandra Menon) who has arranged this reunion after long 15 years. You can feel the tautness in everyone’s face as they are shy enough to talk to each other which is very strange. Well, there is a reason.
When we do a time travel of 15 years, we can see a Sukumaran carrying the SFK flag and a Satishan hoisting DSU flag, Tara Kurup being the daughter of the local Congress MP. Razia is a sweet, cute, girl next door popularly known as “penguin” thanks to the parda she wears. Pias and Suku are roommates and they share a good rapport with each other with Pias an SKF follower as well as the pain for those who fill “F” in the sex column. There is an undiscovered love between Tara and Suku which will soon fall into pieces when Tara is rescued from the police attack on account of the collectorate march done by the SFK students, resulting in a fatal “lathi-charge” in the whole college . Before that both of them used to play all the games in the book to make fun of each other which lead to some really nice scenes like Tara being carried to the campus premises while she was sleeping and creating an embarassment for her and she then taking revenge etc etc etc. But Satishan is envious towards Suku because Tara had already become his infatuation. Murali, meanwhile is the Mr Nice guy of the batch and with his vocal chords he is able to grab the mass attention.
It is the futile foul play done by Satishan that brings the Tara-Suku relationship to an end. Pias has all the news updated and even he couldn’t prevent this relationship gone begging. Murali is seen dead during the election day in the college generator room and since he being an asthma patient, people think it’s a fatal death. Now back to the present, Suku commits a suicide attempt in the same night as that of the reunion and everyone including Pias suspects Tara for taking revenge for her incomplete love. What happened to Murali and what is happening to Suku will be unveiled in the riveting climax in the most unpredictable way you would ever see.
Classmates brings you nostalgic memories especially for us people who have just passed out from college. The narration is superb with absolutely no loopholes in the taut script which is incidentally by a newcomer James Albert. Laljose has made several jaws open with his not so conventional type of film-making. The last half an hour is amazing which prompts you to stare at the screen all along. Music by Alex paul is commendable and all the tunes are hummable. Really, its Radhika as Razia who is the surprise package and her performance simply suits the mood of the film.
On the downside, I would say the background score goes haywire especially when Kavya and Prithvi are romancing. Kavya Madhavan as a teenager is a misfit and she looks over-aged and jaded. After 15 years, she hasn’t changed much and her mannerisms reminds me of a “kilavi”. She just can't produce a glittering performance when needed. At the end of the day, u will have the satisfaction after seeing this movie and a satisfaction which I am sure none has relished after Udayananu Tharam.

Go for it guys, it won’t let you down.