Verdict: Fahadh’s versatility and Venu’s eye for detail make Carbon a must-watch.
When powerhouses like Venu and Fahadh Faasil come together, the result is a thorough entertainer. The cinematographer-turned-director Venu, who makes his appearance after the 2014 Mammootty-starrer Munnariyippu, has delivered one of the better films in recent times. If the movie is a peek into what Fahadh Faasil has to offer in 2018, movie buffs are in for a treat. Produced by Siby Thottupuram and Navis Xaviour, Carbon has big names associated with it, like the cinematographer K. U. Mohanan and music director Vishal Bhardwaj.
What’s the movie all about:
The movie is all about Sibi Sebastian’s (Fahadh) journey to self-discovery and his quest to find success. When his half-baked business ideas land him in trouble with loan sharks, he finds himself isolated in a sprawling and deserted estate in the jungle. One thing leads to another and Sibi embarks on a treasure-hunt fueled by fantasy and myth. The movie is a trek through breath-taking jungles in search of a 200-year-old treasure.
Apparently, the director had Fahadh in mind when he wrote the script. His confidence in the actor’s versatility was not misplaced as Fahadh essays Sibi with finesse and ably carries the movie on his shoulders. Others in the cast include Mamta Mohandas, Kochu Preman, Manikandan and Chetan Jayalal (of the Guppi fame), who all have put forward stellar performances. Mamta Mohandas is in her element as a ‘jungle junkie’ while Kochu Preman delivers as a lonely caretaker. After Fahadh, the one who shines is Manikandan as Stalin. Set in a jungle, Mohanan’s skill with the lens ensures each frame is a treat to the eye. Bhardwaj, who makes a comeback to Malayalam movies after 20 years, has composed beautiful songs. Simple details like the Malayali’s love for porotta and beef, a forgotten game of eru pandhu and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist find mentions. Vijayaraghavan and Nedumudi Venu, both in new avatars, play short but pivotal roles.
What could have been better
The first half of the movie drags in parts but makes up for it in the second. Once Sibi embarks on his treasure-hunt, the movie has little to fault.
Why you should watch this movie
It is rarely that Malayalam cinema tries a genre other than the usual tried-and-tested formulas. With a cast and crew that has numerous national and state awards to boast of, the movie is fresh and engaging.
–By Jan Mary Varghese