Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela (2017) starring Nivin Pauly is a Malayalam film about a family coping with their mother’s fight with cancer in their own way. Director Althaf Salim has told the story with humour throughout, in a style that’s normally not seen in Indian mainstream movies. All the cast are perfect for the roles they are playing starting with Shanthi Krishna (of Visu’s Manal Kayiru fame for Tamil audience), Lal (who is known for his Villain roles in Tamil films like Chandi Veeran) and Aishwarya Lekshmi.
When ‘Sheela Chacko’, the mother of 3 adults shares her doubt with ‘Chacko’, her husband that the lump she feels could be cancer, she remains brave and battles it strongly. Chacko, the head of the family breaks down, he couldn’t face it. When he tries to tell the news to his children individually he struggles – to his son Kurien, Chacko starts by saying you can’t see the stars in the morning but they are there; then Chacko talks about this to his son-in-law, who thinks he is complaining about Chicken Curry to be spicy; Chacko daughter interrupts him and asks him for a new car. These and other dialogues (and the English Subtitles) are simple and in many places noticeably impressive.
I did enjoy the film and laughed at many places, but at the same time, the film did have its dull moments in between. Though not the same story, this film reminded me of an Israeli film Zinuk BaAlia (2015) that I saw recently where a family handles their mother who is unconscious in a coma for months.