Carbon Malayalam movie review
Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopinath
If you ask me to list down the positives of Carbon Movie, I would first mention the choice of location matching the plot and the visual beauty of the film captured through the camera angles of K. U. Mohanan. The next highlight that caught my attention and impressed me was the realistic portrayal of Siby, the protagonist of the film by Fahadh Fasil. Performance, visual beauty and location are the backbone of Carbon which is directed by cinematographer-turned-director Venu but when it came to the cinematic experience of watching the film, I should say, Carbon isn’t my cup of tea. The film definitely has its moments but overall, the experience was testing my patience for the most part.
Siby calls himself a freelance businessman who wants to make big bucks through the shortest possible way. All his dealing has an inherent fraudulent nature in them. He gets appointed as the manager of a Palace situated in the middle of a forest. The job for him is to revive the Palace so that the owners can convert it to a tourist spot. But the story shift from that to an adventurous one once Siby lands in the Palace. Remaining part of the story takes us to a journey within the forest for finding something.
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Venu who had earlier directed two films before this one with the hard-hitting and critically acclaimed Munnariyippu being the last of his three directorial venture including Carbon has attempted to bring in a realistic mood for the movie. A message is also tried to be conveyed in the plot somewhere which wasn’t done through forceful intervention in the overall narrative. Where the film falter in my opinion is the headless and tailless story narration that doesn’t help to have a fully engaging experience. The film failed to keep the momentum that was there in the initial part and could not sustain the thrill and adventure that was part of the story in the second half.
Venu has succeeded in giving a mystery element in the story but the screenplay written by the man himself didn’t have that X factor to provide the excitement and thrill that one would expect from an adventurous film. The writing has tried to give a symbolic connection through some of the characters to refer to the state of mind of the protagonist and Soubin Shahir’s mahout was one among them. Dialogues with zero amount of drama in them had that natural and realistic tone.
The best moment of the film for me was the one where Siby is negotiating a deal to trade an elephant that has Praveena and Soubin also on screen contributing very well in conveying the tone of that scene in an effective way. Use of symbolism in the opening title credits to link it to the main plot was notable. But my entertainment and engagement level was practically limited and somehow the experience turned out to be an underwhelming one. May be the over expectation after the Munnariyippu effect played a vital part in making me to conclude my opinion of the film in this manner.
I started writing my thoughts about this film mentioning about the positives of the film and one among them was the performance of Fahad Faasil. Siby was safe in Fahad’s hands and it was a clean and natural act from the actor who once again proved that when it comes to portraying a role in a realistic way, he is one of the best in business today. Mamata Mohandas who join the party at a later stage of the movie played the character of Sameera with total conviction justifying the faith shown by the director in casting her.
On the supporting roles we have Kochu Preman, Manikandan Aachary, Chetan, Dileesh Pothan, Nedumudy Venu, Vijayaraghavan and Spadikam George. Each of them were good and their performances were all notable in one way or the other. Praveena and Soubin Shahir had a very brief part to play but the moments they were part of and their respective characters stay in our mind.
Carbon is one movie which is rich in production values and have not compromised on the technical aspects. K. U. Mohanan who is a noted Bollywood cinematographer now makes his re-entry into Malayalam and comes up with a spectacular work. His camera frames has fully utilized and exploited the beauty of Pala, Erumeli and places around Kottayam where the movie has been shot. The jungle scenes are a major highlight of the film and a major part of the credit for that goes to the cameraman.
Beena Paul has done her part as the editor. Background score was used in a very limited way. Coming to the songs which are tuned by Vishal Bhardwaj, it was gelling well with the mood of the movie though I wasn’t much impressed with the Doore Doore song sung by Rekha Bhardwaj that had an awkward feel in it. Sound design also had a major role to play in the film.
Technically visually and performance wise, Carbon is one of the best but a less engaging screenplay confined the film to an average zone for me. If you have any plans to watch the movie, it should be in theaters to feel the complete nuances of it. I am sure many of you will contradict with me on my viewpoints as this is one film that have the chance in it to have multiple opinions and that too in totally different dimensions. So watch it for yourself and decide. Definitely not my cup of tea !!