Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How old are you

Cast: Manju Warrier (Nirupama Rajeev), Kunchako Boban (Rajeev Narayanan), Amritha Anil (Lakshmi Rajeev), Siddhartha Basu, Lalu Alex, Kanika, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Vinay Fort, Sreerag Nambiar, Jayaraj Warrier, Muthumani, Sethulakshmi
Genre: Family Drama
Direction: Rosshan Andrews
Production: Listin Stephen
Written by: Bobby Sanjay
Editor: Mahesh Narayanan
Studio: Magic Frames
Distribution: Central Pictures
Music: Gopi Sunder
Release Date: 16th May, 2014
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 2 hours 21 minutes

How old are you, Manju Warrier’s much awaited come-back Malayalam film, and I must say, what a re-entry by Manju. Fabulous concept with a fabulous actress in it. It is the story of many females, who forgot to dream or rather dreamt only for husbands or children. For females, marriages mean the expiry of their dreams. ‘Happily married’ often means the fairer sex compromising for the togetherness of the family, taking care of the house efficiently and keeping her own dreams aside. But, should not it be like this that ‘Happily married’ means both husband and wife are taking care of each other literally and figuratively. Does a wife’s ‘taking care’ of everything wins her accolades from husband or children, quiet often not. Rather husbands start finding their wives boring since wives’ conversation may not be intellectually stimulating for the husbands which revolves in and around family, kitchen, groceries’ price etc. ‘How old are you’ certainly inspires one not only to dream but also to achieve them successfully.

Nirupama Rajeev (Manju Warrier), a UD clerk in the Revenue Department, is being rejected for a job interview (to fetch a job at Ireland) just because she crossed the maximum age criteria 35. Husband Rajeev Narayanan (Kunchako Boban) an RJ by profession, is planning to move to Ireland. Daughter Lakshmi Rajeev (Amritha Anil) too is excited to pursue her studies there. Both Rajeev and Lakshmi are disappointed (and a bit angry as well) due to Nirupama’s failure. At office, Nirupama is shown to be a complacent lady, not very concerned about the job, discreetly enjoying weekly magazines in office and a bit of high-headedness in front of her colleagues as well. At home, her different side is shown who shares a wonderful relationship with in-laws, loves interacting with husband and daughter. Her selfless approach and ‘content with self’ attitude gives certain lovely moments in the film.

Her face expresses various emotions with utmost perfection. For a lady, whose world revolved around her family, things take a different turn, when she is invited by the President of India (Siddhartha Basu) over breakfast. President was keen to meet mother of Lakshmi after Lakshmi impressing him with her question during his school interaction. It is hilarious to see Nirupama boasting about it to her colleagues and enjoying the attention from even the strangers.  

What happens after Nirupama meets the President of India? What happens to Rajeev’s decision to move to Ireland? Does he manage to get family visa? Does Manju continue to be a woman who forgot to see dreams for herself? Does she go through some low points in her life? Is Nirupama able to transform herself? How does she re-discover herself ? Does she become a reason for the success of her family?    

The first half is not very promising. Director has tried to build up the story in the first half. One keeps wondering what Nirupama is upto who has shades of maturity as well as immaturity in her. A feel-good factor is generated when we get to see her unconditional love and support towards her family. And one is also able to relate with the male chauvinistic attitude. We also get to experience the new generation’s stubbornness.

But the second half takes up the story to new dimension, where Nirupama is shown to make lowest point in life as the starting point. Every individual (whether a male or a female) has the right to dream. We shall not allow anyone to decide the expiry date of our dreams.

A great movie, probably with shades of Manju Warrier’s life in it, inspires all of us to pursue our dreams. Although all the cast have given good performances, this movie belongs absolutely to Manju Warrier.  

How Old Are You, a must-watch movie, inspires us to make ‘our dream as our signature’ and to make ‘the lowest point of our lives as the starting point for a new chapter of our lives’.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 (Good +)