Koode Review: a heartening fantasy drama of great quality
The brother-sister dynamic is something that Malayalam cinema has not explored deeply as the main plot. With Koode, an adaptation of Sachin Kundalkar’s Marathi film happy journey, she explores that relationship and delivers a heartening movie of great quality. With emotions of depth being presented by gifted talents on screen, Koode is a movie slightly beyond the typical feel-goodness.
Joshua and Jenny are our central characters. Joshua left home at an early age of 15 to do a job in the Middle East and at that time Jenny, his baby sister was only a few months old. The connection between them wasn’t that great as he kept very little contact with the family. After nearly 20 years Joshua had to come back as the family lost Jenny. In a fantasy filled narrative, Koode shows us how Jenny becomes a guiding light to a struggling Joshua.
It is so fascinating to see how Anjali Menon and the team have managed to shift the momentum from a grey area to a bright path effortlessly. With the signature cuteness of Nazriya and a few dialogues, Anjali Menon succeeds in building an environment she wanted to have for the movie. The major highlight of the film is the chemistry between Prithviraj and Nazriya. The script that could have gone a bit too filmy manages to have a grip and realness because of this duo. Like the title Koode, the tale here is ultimately about companionship. We can see two women being the pillar of support for Joshua at key moments of loneliness. Anjali Menon yet again builds a foundation based on relationships and that makes it a much-rooted experience.
All those criticism about Prithviraj’s dramatic acting in films can be brushed aside here as Anjali Menon manages to bring out the best from him as Joshua. Joshua is a disturbed man who gradually gets freedom for the darkness through Jenny and Prithviraj succeeds in giving life to Joshua. Nazriya’s comeback character Jenny is pretty much a replica of herself and that along with her rapport with Prithviraj makes the combination scenes look so beautiful on screen. Within her minimal number of scenes, Parvathy manages to show the world of Sophie. Mala Parvathy, Ranjith, Atul Kulkarni are the other major actors here. And I really enjoyed Roshan Mathew’s character.
A lot of the scenes in the movie where improvised to have a natural feel and I feel that that tactic has done the trick for Koode. The stress-free performance of the actors in a drama can make them say the lines without any inhibition and that realness adds to the movie’s quality. There were a few scenes the characters were just gesturing and we could easily sense the wit in it. The fact that Joshua knows Jenny watched porn and Jenny asks Joshua about his sex life sort of makes it an atypical goodness drama. It was beautiful how the film showed the stories of Sophie and Krish in a few scenes. The frames in the movie are of remarkable quality and the rhythmic cuts along with gentle usage of background score make the visuals look fabulous on screen. Raghu Dixit and M Jayachandran are behind the tracks and yet again Anjali Menon delivers a gem of an album.
Koode is a fantasy drama that successfully makes you forget about that aspect of it and invites you to a narrative about the bond between a brother and sister. Like all Anjali Menon films, you will leave the theater as a happy viewer and this could well become that feel good repeat watch movie.
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