New Delhi, 22 May 2020 7:30 IST
The short film, directed by Akhil Joseph, captures the milieu of a small town in Kerala as it swings into action to catch the culprits who have desecrated the local church in the most heinous way.
That Malayalam short film Kaanayile Madhyapanikal (Drunkards Of Cana, 2020) has its perspective perfectly in place is clear at the very beginning as it states: 'Alcohol, because no great story ever started with a glass of milk!' And so begins the story of a small village that erupts into pandemonium one morning as its residents receive a rude shock when one of the most revered places in the village, the church, is defiled in the most unimaginable manner. To add insult to injury, the donation box has been stolen as well.
Ajesh (Anwin Johnson) and Kunjuman (Prasanth Murali) are two good-for-nothing friends who cannot recall how they spent the previous night as they were completely drunk. But as the police are busy searching for the miscreants who have desecrated the church and run away with the money, Ajesh and Kunjuman start to piece together the sequence of events and realize that unwittingly they are at the centre of the commotion!
There are small details that build the milieu — the way in which the madman Chandi is a part of the village, the local politician who is always in campaign mode but is not really bothered about the people, the vicar who bows his head when he hears the azaan, the Muslim call to prayer, all create the perfect setting for the drunkards and the unfolding of their deed.
Drunkards Of Cana is reminiscent of the films of popular Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery, especially Ee Ma Yau (2018) and the recent Jallikkattu (2019), where one incident becomes the pivot around which the rest of the action congeals, offering a view on the people involved.
Director Akhil Joseph gives us a fast-paced thriller that is strung together with large dollops of humour. The deft camerawork captures the idyllic locale, offering some interesting perspectives and insights into the people. The sharp editing and music complement the action effectively and build the sense of mystery. The performances by the central protagonists keep the viewer focused and engaged in their fate. Watch the film:
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