Adaminde makan Abu- A big disappointment


Malayalam movie ‘Adaminde makan Abu’ (Adam’s son Abu) was a big disappointment. The weight of expectations might have been the reason, but that is natural as the film had won several awards including the National award for best feature film last year.
The story is about an ageing Muslim couple living in Malabar area of Kerala. Abandoned by their son working in Gulf for unknown/unconvincing reason they are living with a meager income. Abu is a street vendor of perfumes and natural remedies while his wife Aysumma earns money by selling milk of her cow. They have a dream, to do the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
By saving all the money they earned by living frugally, Abu begins  making arrangements for the trip. Instead of applying for the cheaper Government sponsored trip Abu is seen approaching a private travel agency. They had to sell the Cow and a tree to foot the bill for the pilgrimage. But the tree was worth much less than their expectation and Abu was short of cash. The timber merchant (a Christian), a friend (Hindu school teacher) and the travel agency themselves were willing to help Abu, but he refuses. According to Abu there should not be any debt pending with people other than close relatives before going to Haj. Film ends with the couple resigned to day-dreaming about the pilgrimage.
The film is slow paced and you will not miss anything if u doze off for few minutes. Almost all the characters seems to be ‘white’ goody goody ones, with no resemblance to real life. It seems all the people in the World were conspiring to help the couple to go to Haj except their son who is never shown.Though the couple is portrayed as poor, the clothes they wear inside and outside the house look always new and freshly ironed.  Sometime the film looks like an advertisement for the travel agency dealing with Haj pilgrimage, with unusual prominence given to its (real) name.
Saving grace is the acting of Salim Kumar and Zareena Wahab. The songs are good, but the visualization not so. Madhu Ambat’s  photography is good, but beautiful pictures of the horizon stands out of the film.
It was difficult to believe this film won so many awards and even became India’s official entry to Oscars.  Director Salim Ahmed must be very lucky to get so many accolades for an ordinary debut film.

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