Comrade in America – CIA – Movie Review
Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopinath
With a weak script and a hollow storyline, Comrade in America (CIA), the movie directed by Amal Neerad ends up as one without a head and tail. Making, BGM and visuals just like any Amal Neerad film stands apart but other than these there is nothing in the movie that can excite you. So, in the end, there is more of style and less of substance which pulls down the movie.
The film is set in Kottayam and Dulquer plays a character named Aji Mathews who is inspired by the left ideology. But his father Mathews belongs to the opposite party headed by the corruption-tainted Kora. The protagonist gets romantically involved with an NRI girl and the movie portrays how and for what purpose our hero end up on another side of the world. How far will you go for love, that’s the tagline of the movie and here Aji show to what extent he can go to show his faithfulness in his relationship with the lady he loves.
The film begins on a strong note and promises to be an exciting political film but quickly takes a U-turn and focus on the love story between the lead pair. Until halfway mark it was an okay watch and once the second half starts the movie shapes into a dragging road film with no sense. It is here that the writing failed to get going with loopholes in screenplay pushing the film into a weak territory.
As I mentioned, the visual side is a treat. Cinematography, background score and making of the film is in good shape and for the director, this is not something new. Every movie for which Amal Neerad had wielded the megaphone has his signature style and always excel in the making and visual department. The last time we saw his work was in Iyyobintay Pusthakam and to me it was an impressive work that was stylish and at the same time backed by a strong content.
In CIA, we see a little bit of politics, a pinch of romance and finally the product shape into a travel movie but everything seems half baked with the screenplay never allowing any of these areas to take its shape nor allow it to settle down. Even with these odds, there are a couple of scenes that thrill you and they have come out well. One among them is the introduction scene of hero with a song in the background.
Dulquer Salman as the local politician and the romantic hero was an apt casting. The role wasn’t challenging with scope for a strong performance but whatever little the actor had to do, he was right up there justifying the director’s faith in casting him. The next best and one who impressed was Siddhique who enacted the role of Dulquer’s father. Even from a brief role, there are some actors who can make a strong presence and Siddhique is one among them.
Dileesh Pothen and Soubin Shahir contributed in whatever way they can in supporting roles. Alencier Lay and Jinu Joseph are also part of the cast along with Tamil actor John Vijay. The female leads don’t have any presence whatsoever in the movie and end up getting unnoticed.
I didn’t get complete satisfaction after watching the movie. Except for those few stylish scenes of Dulquer and those portions where Kottayam politics is in the limelight, the other portions were pretty dull. At the same time, I would say it’s not too bad a movie to be totally sidelined. At best, CIA is an average fare provided the expectation level is pegged a little down.
Rating – ★★★ /★★★★★