‘Carbon,’ the name sounds interesting right! Well, the film revolves around the main character Sibi, who goes on with his life without any job, just loitering around with some small scale businesses like transacting rare commodities like vellimoonga (silver owl), marathakam etc. Sibi has a sister and parents back home. When Sibi goes off pursuing something, he just goes off without any contact. He wouldn’t even pick up the phone. He is such a kind of person. The first half of the film focuses more on introducing the character of the hero, Sibi. Certain circumstances, dealings and so on.
The story of ‘Carbon’ actually starts when Sibi goes into the forest with some motives following a unique situation. Performance wise, Fahadh has immortalised the character of Sibi with his excellent performance. Fahadh marks his character with the transformations and growth his character demands as the film progresses. This transformation of the character is portrayed superbly in the last scenes. The film shows more of travels, and to a certain extent, the audience also feels the journeys. The audience can truly relate with the character of Fahadh to such an extent that the audience also becomes a part of the film at times. The rest of the cast including Mamta, Kochu Preman, Manikandan, Chethan and so on have done their jobs very well. Sharafuddin, Soubin, Nedumudi Venu, Vijayaraghavan, Spadikam George and so on just enter as characters in the flow of the film and leaves off after their part. They did not have much of a contribution to the cinema.
There is an element of mystery all through the film. Kochu Preman and Praveena have been very good in retaining and communicating this element of mystery in the film. Though the character portrayed by Mamta is the heroine in the film, the moulding and creation of Sameera, Mamta’s character, is not very impressive. Regarding the technical aspects, undoubtedly, the cinematography of the film deserves special mention. The second half of the film presents scenes of visual extravaganza. The terror of the forest, the peace of the forest, its astounding beauty… all these facets of the forest are captured beautifully and presented on screen. The background music and sound mixing are excellent in the film. There are songs in the film, but other than presenting exotic visuals, the songs don’t have any speciality. After introducing the character well, the film showcases travel in pursuit of a particular aim. Overall, it is uncertain whether the film, as a whole, has components to engage the audience throughout.
However, in the second half, the director is able to create anxiety in the minds of the viewers as to what would happen next to Sibi and team scene by scene. Also, the film become intense only in the last scenes. In many scenes, the images unfurl the story rather than direct narration of the story. Many aspects shown in Sibi’s life sometimes fail to relate exactly. This film has some similarities to the Turkish film ‘Cold of Kalandar,’ shown at the IFFK podium before. Moreover, it is hard to define the genre of the film. There’s a feel of adventurous thriller, a sense of magical realism ideology and so on. The film has various colours in various scenes. At the same time, Carbon is a film that travels beyond the superficial scenes.
Graphite and diamond are two forms of the element carbon. Both these forms of carbon element have two characteristics or precisely speaking, two extremes of the same forms. Change of one form to anther is also not easy. In this film, Sibi is the carbon. There are many scenes in the film that tells many things in one shot. For example, the scene showing Vijayaraghavan’s computer, the scene where Sameera enquires to Sibi about his past etc. It is in these scenes that the film becomes highly communicative. The director has tried to portray the journeys of human life in an effective manner on screen. The film ends presenting the viewers the liberty to relish the film in their own way. The confusion created in the minds of the viewers as the film progresses amidst fantasies and reality is fixed in the climax scenes.
The film has a slow paced story. The first half of the film is slightly boring, but the second half of the film is magnificent with exotic visual treats. The final scene might witness Sibi coming to the audience with smiles. There is no mention of carbon anywhere in the film, therefore, the film can be viewed in one’s own personal dimension, thus taking the enjoyment to an other level.
The outstanding performance of Fahadh, the technical perfection of cinematography capturing and presenting scenic views to the audience, a film which has a deeper insight.. These are some reasons why this film is a definitely watchable film in theatres.