Sunday, July 14, 2013

Malayalam Movie Amen: A Visual Fable

Movies are basically a visual form of art like a painting or a sculpture. What makes movies different from paintings is the scope to add to it other artistic expressions like a piece of music or literature for enhancing the effect of the viewing experience. But practically what we find is that while making movies, more importance is given to a structured story (it may be even an absurd one were a hero can fight singlehandedly with scores of men simultaneously dodging countless bullets and in the next scene romance the heroine on the top of Alps) and movie making is reduced to a level of simple story telling following the route of a live drama (in fact most of the plays that I watched recently, tries and transcends the limitations of stage gloriously, making them much better than any average movie). We, the viewers are so much conditioned to the story-centrist approach of movies that any variation in it will cause us to reject the movie labelling it as self centered, indulgent or arthouse making it commercially not viable to make movies that fully utilise the potential of movie making.

Recently Malayalam movie industry is on a self discovery stage and several attempts are being made to take movie making out of its comfort zones and deliver results that defy conventions. So it was quite natural that a talented movie maker decided to make a movie that is not mere story telling. Amen is the third movie by Lijo Jose Pellissery. The movie does not have much of a plot or great characterization in the conventional sense. It is told in a very leisurely pace, ensuring that each shot is aesthetically good but never compromising on the overall coherent structure. It explores ways to make the movie watching a visual experience and everything else- acting, plot, dialogue and songs contributing to enhance it. The movie is a fine balance between commercial and artistic cinema. It performed well in theatres. Amen is a director's movie with a basic underdog plot and dominated by beautiful individual shots that unfolds like a dreamy fable.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with most of your points. Even I had written a "not-so-short-review" of this movie in my blog