Adaminte Makan Abu hit theatres today after winning national, state awards last month four times each on both the occasions. The movie is about Abu and his wife portrayed by Salim Kumar and Zarina Vaheb respectively who wants to make it to Mecca to perform the holy pilgrimage at any cost, despite their poverty and sufferings.
Does Abu lives up to the expectations with its part of glory and controversies (unwanted most of them as always in the case of award winning movies) after all? Well, not exactly.. Abu disappoints you with its predictability in narration right from the beginning to end. We certainly knew what was coming (not a drawback technically, in the book of prescribed format of art films in India which may term this a mandatory feature!)
“I don’t differentiate movies as art and commercial, for me there are only two kinds of movies; interesting movies and uninteresting movies” said once, renowned film maker Raj Kumar Santhoshi. With lack of drama Adaminte makan Abu belongs to the second category unfortunately. Almost all the characters in the movie are goodness personified, which heavily attributes to this problem.
On a positive note, Salim Ahmed has been successful in bringing out the best of technicians associated with this venture which makes it craft wise excellent. An outstanding back ground score is the soul of any film and Abu has it thanks to Isaac Thomas Kottukapally. And Madhu Ambat, the master cinematographer with his brilliantly crafted shots conveys a deep sense of loneliness and gloom. Apart from the winners, make up man Pattanam Rasheed has done a great job converting Salim Kumar to a 75 year old man. Ramesh Narayanan also deserves attention for the songs. Art direction is worth mentioning as well by debutant art director Jyothish.
In acting department, Zarina Vaheb plays the character of Abu’s wife to perfection; even Suraj Venjaramoodu who is known for gimmicks surprises you with his realistic portrayal. But the film belongs to national award winner salim Kumar who literally lives as Abu. However director Ranjith had commented that Mammootty’s performance in Pranchiyettan and the Saint was much better than salim Kumar’s Abu. He has also asked if the award was given to the performance of actor or to the tragic shades to the character.
Now that is something worth discussing!..
Last time, we had a similar situation was on 1999 when Kalabhavan Mani (Vasanthiyum Laksmiyum Pinne Njanum) lost out to Mohan Lal (Vanaprastham) the only change being the more established actor on the receiving end this time around. Coming back to Pranchiyettan and Abu, Pranchi is way ahead when it comes to the range of emotions displayed by the character. Mammootty, the master showman pulls out a wide range of emotions through Pranchi while Salim with his limited range fails to explore Abu’s emotions other than helplessness even with the support of tragic shades to the character as Ranjith pointed out. Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to watch Salim transforming to Abu with ease and this easily stands out his finest performance till date.