Sudani From Nigeria Movie Review
Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopinath
Sudani From Nigeria – such a curious title for a Malayalam film is certainly bound to attract and grab the attention of moviegoers. Well that’s what happened here in a film scripted and directed by debutante Zakaria. Agreed, the title name sounds crazy and an attention seeking one but what that stands out in this film which is Soubin Shahir’s first film as a single hero is an actor himself. Yes, Soubin is the pivotal element in this film who drives the film in remarkable fashion right from the start and helping it to land in a safe territory without any cracks or injuries. Not to forget are the immense contribution of the two leading ladies and the Sudani which I will go into detail later on.
More into the film, this one is a pure film that has its heart in the right place. A heartwarming tale presented beautifully with light-hearted humour, sentiments and emotions, Sudani From Nigeria is surely going to bring tears to your eyes and ends very well with a touching climax. Surprised by the results right? Well at least for me it was a big surprise as I didn’t have many expectations heading into this but the experience turned out to be an overwhelming one.
Malabar and football have a special connection and bonding. Sevens football is the backdrop and Majeed is the manager of a football club. These people are so crazy and passionate about the game and import talents from the African nations. Anyone who is a black African is called Sudani by the innocent local people. Sudani From Nigeria is the story of a beautiful and sincere relationship, love and friendship between a Sudani and his manager Majeed, his mom Jameela and Beeyumma.
A low profile product with lesser known actors and some unfamiliar faces in this film at a basic level. But what is portrayed and conveyed makes us deeply rooted and attached to the characters. Humour and fun are used effectively without going overboard and the same goes for sentiments and emotions. The film has some fine touching moments focusing on relationships and friendship that was convincingly narrated.
Samuel, the Nigerian’s friendship between Majeed that gets evolved gradually, Majeed’s relationship between his parents looked so genuine on screen. Screenplay giving its share of space for highlighting the plight faced by Samuel back home was something that helped in giving more meaning to the story. A balancing act is done here to make every element given equal prominence.
Having Soubin in the lead, the expectation is for an outright comedy and fun film with his trademark one-liners. Yes, there is fun and there are laughable moments throughout but what the film has tried to say is beyond these. Performances, screenplay, dialogues and direction all played its part in making this little film a success. The climax portions involving Sudani and Majeed would, without doubt, would bring goosebumps. Majeed mending himself and meeting his stepfather and bringing him to his home is another special moment in Sudani From Nigeria.
Now to performances. We are seeing the other side of Soubin, a different face altogether. He has sequences that are familiar to us but the surprising thing to see was the way he performed in those emotional scenes. Screenplay gave him scope to perform without mouthing lengthy or heavy dialogues and he gave his best shot.
This film is incomplete without its leading ladies. For a change, the female leads are fifty plus. Jameela and Beeyumma are the characters portrayed by drama artists Savithry Sreedharan and Sarassa Balussery respectively. While Jameela, who is the mother of Majeed was innocence personified, Beeyumma was more aggressive and lively. What a casting it was and both of them are the backbone of Sudani From Nigeria. KTC Abdullah is cast as the father of Majeed and though he had only very few scenes in the film, they were all touching and memorable. The guys who acted as friends of Majeed were also convincing along with the Nigerian actor Samuel Robinson.
Effective background score from the music department helped in lifting and sustaining the mood of each and every scene. Songs were good and their placement was also perfect. Shyju Khalid has done his part well as the cameraman. Direction and that too from a first timer is something that helped the film to reach that level getting the good results in the end.
A simple screenplay and a light story are given a perfect treatment. If a movie can stay within your minds for long after coming out of theatres, there is something special in it. Sudani from Nigeria is one such film. Don’t step back considering the film has no stars in it. Rush to the nearest theatre and grab your tickets, that’s what I would say at this point. You won’t be disappointed.
Rating – 4 / 5