Competition movies a firm favourite with IFFK audience


Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 7: The second day of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) witnessed some of the most delicate human lives on silver screen that reasserted nature as the ultimate home to return to and the last resort for peace.

One of the most anticipated movies, Pakistani flick Moor, directed by Jamshed Mahmood Raza, fetched mixed reviews from the delegates after its first screening at Nishagandhi today.

Station master Wahidullah Khan is shown stretched between a dilemma of survival and ethics as his home and workplace is turned into ruins of as a result of the interference of a corrupt mafia group, who doesn’t want the rail network to flourish. Wahid’s son goes to Karachi in search of better opportunities, but falls into unlawful activities. Wahid’s wife is depicted as a highly influential figure who tries to restore hope and humaneness in her family, even after her death.

Set in the backdrop of high altitude mountains of Pakistan, the movie captures the monumental beauty of ice-capped mountains. For many delegates, the excess of melodrama spoilt the momentum of the film.

Competition Movies topped the priority list of many delegates; R Jayaraj’s Ottal, Kazakhstan movie Zhanna Issabayeva’s Bopem and Bauddhayan Mukherji’s The Violin Player screened to a good response.

Based on Anton Chekhov’s timeless work Vanka, Ottal was among the crowd favourites, as Sree Kumar theatre screened the movie to a full house. The film showcases the life of a child labourer on the backdrop of consoling, lush backwaters of Kuttanad. The movie showcases the innocent relationship between the boy and his grandfather.

Bopem unravels the psyche of a 14-year-old boy through his solitary life in the dried Aral Sea. The disturbed mind of Rayan, after he witnesses the death of his own mother, is captured through the emptiness of the sea. After realizing the he suffers from a deadly disease, Ryan sets out on a lonely expedition in a partly-wrecked ship, that conveys a sense of existential dilemma to viewers.

The Violin Player encapsulates a day from the life of a session violinist who follows a stranger, expecting a better fortune. The desperate escapist in the violinist is depicted subtly in his journey through the dark alleys of the city, in a pursuit to understand the meaning of music, art, life and survival.

Satish and Santhosh Babusenan’s feature film Chaayam Pooshiya Veedu premiered at Kalabhavan amidst the movie’s controversial absence from other festivals owing to censor board issues. The movie tracks the life of a lonely, self-obsessed writer, who thinks of himself as a “good” man. The movie escalates to a psychological thriller soon after a seductive woman and a “mad” young man enter his life.

The other two competition films, which were screened at Sree Visakh theatre, were Raoul Peck’s Murder in Pacot, a movie from Haiti that portrays a couple’s effort to stitch back their lives together after it was hit by a earthquake, and Srijit Mukherji’s Raj Kahani, which tells the story from a whore house whose inmates were forced to fight against authoritarian intrusion.

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