Who are you taking home with you today? It is a fun question to ask, when one is headed to the cinema. Despite the flourish and subterfuge of the visual, deep inside we do go watch films for story, character and performance. We go watch films to take home a piece of someone that we are, that we know, or that we could be (even if only in secret). And perhaps you would agree that these were some of 2017’s best takeaway performances.
Fahadh Faasil (ThondimuthalumDriksakshiyum): If Prasad the crafty and elusive thief endears us enough to empathise with him, it’s because Fahadh could totally mould himself into the role. His eyes speaking volumes, his scrawny body huddled in the lived-in shirt and jeans; it all added easily to the character.
Aishwarya Lekshmi (Mayaanadhi): Aparna aka Appu is a woman with a lot of contradictions. Aishwarya brings all those little nuances to the table, putting up an honest performance that thoroughly captivates.
Parvathy (Takeoff): Parvathy internalises the bitter, unsmiling, strained nurse Sameera, who seems to find it difficult to trust people. It’s one of those performances that surprises you with its sheer unpredictability.
Tovino (Mayaanadhi): What strikes you about Mathan is how helplessly in love he is with Appu. Tovino easily brings that vulnerability in Mathan—hurt, love, indecisiveness and hope flit across his face without much effort.
Shanthi Krishna (NjandukaludeNattilOridavela): The veteran actress brings her experience to the fore in this role that remains dignified and dense in an otherwise light-hearted film.
Amal Shah and Govind V Pai (Parava):These child artistes left us gaping with how natural they are in front of the camera. It was like they have been living there all their lives.
Nimisha Sajayan (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum): Sreeja’s fury at the thief for stealing the thaali chain, being upset at Prasad when he rebukes her for being careless and her seamless transition into Sreeja, makes Mumbai-based Nimisha Sajayan one of the greatest finds of this year.
Sarath Kumar (AngamalyDiaries): Unsmiling, blunt and intimidating despite his scrawny build, Appani Ravi unleashes terror in his region. Newcomer Sharath is pitch perfect as this local don who wedges pigs with a straight face, hates being taken for a ride and just as easily shakes hands with his opponents.
Anu Sithara (RamanteEdenthottam): Anu Sithara’s large, voluminous eyes are enough to convey most of the words left unspoken by Malini - the soft-spoken submissive homemaker who morphs into a confident independent dancer by the end of the story.
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Fullpicture is an exclusive, comprehensive, online English magazine on Malayalam cinema, put together by a team of experienced journalists who share a passion for everything about Malayalam cinema. The idea is to put out well-written and well-researched features, exclusive interviews,...