Sanal Kumar Sasidharan to me, is one of the most electrifying filmmakers in Malayalam cinema today. The man just pulled off an outstanding cinematic marvel in his second debut outing Ozhivu Divasathe Kali, which has no proper draft as a script. It is an intact political film that has some devastating abbreviate politics in conversations and perspectives. Also, awe-inspiringly shot, which possesses mostly god’s eye view to every frame – there are literally no close ups & retrieval cuts. The climax is an extended 50 to 55 min single shot. And it unbelievably managed to hold my nerves till the closure & shook me by the tail end – which is a chilling disclosure of the politics it dealt.
Sanal’s first film Oralppokam flooded with accolades from film festivals, but is largely unnoticed. I haven’t watched his third film Sexy Durga, a one day metropolitan tale of a lady. Chola is making it’s arrangement’s for the theatrical release. Here’s why you shouldn’t miss the film.
- Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, The Man himself. From the maker of Ozhivu Divasathe Kali is not necessarily a small endorsement, for the people who have watched it. It was also a state award winning film.
- Chola was an official entry to the Venice International film festival, which is one of the most prestigious film festivals of the world. It was not raved as much in ‘social media’ platforms like Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu & Geethu Mohandas’s Moothon – which were two films that had premieres in a parallel film fest of Toronto in the same timeframe, probably because these two were from the top of mainstream & has a huge fan worshiped cast/crew.
- The film bagged 4 Kerala State Film Awards Including the Best Actor for Nimisha Sajayan, Best Character Actor for Joju George, Special jury mention for Sanal Kumar Sasidharan & also won the best Sound design category.
- Chola stars Nimisha Sajayan & Joju George as the lead actors. The fantastic fact is that, these two have also won state awards for their performances in the film, possibly their career best?
- Sanal’s biggest production till date. Obviously will display his expertise in craftsmanship, elaborative visual aesthetics & artistic calibre in large canvas filmmaking.
- The outstanding two promotional footage. First one was released by Sanal through his Vimeo account. Which is a sneak peak to the film, at first sight, the staging is contrasting, ferocious & vignette. Nimisha Sajayan and Joju George are eye-catchy. Chola’s trailer was dropped a few days back from Venice. It is available in the youtube channel Pearl Chan. Instantly captivating from the word go. The one working headlight in Joju’s jeep & his lecherous gaze into the back mirror, the beer bottle that comes back to the shore after every wave, the small waterfront which seems ripped straight out from his Ozhivu Divasathe Kali & the flabbergasting music composition. Everything Looks fab.
- Reviews from the orizzonti has been in the fortune for Sanal. Chola had incredible response & National Award winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan has dropped his review early for Film Companion website saying –– “The film could be called the third instalment in Sanal’s oppression trilogy. It is very much a companion piece to ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ and S Durga, he further adds, Chola is Sanal’s finest film.”
- I’m curiously looking forward to the box office result of Chola. This is Sanal’s first mainstream film so will be a very important release to look forward for Malayalam Cinema.
- Chola was the Third Malayalam film to be screened the Venice. Adoor Gopakrishnan’s Mathilukal & Nizhalkuthu were former two.
- For it’s fearsome bold theme of power politics & feminine identity. The synopsis from Venice is: “Teenage Janaki departs for a day in the city at dawn. Her suitor has arranged for a ride with his boss, a sullen and dark man who lets Janaki know that he knows she’s there without her mother’s permission.”