‘Eeda,’ the recently released Malayalam film is the directorial debut of B. Ajithkumar, who has been noted as an Editor in films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Rajeev Ravi and Jayaraj. The main characters in the film are portrayed by Shane Nigam, Nimisha Sajayan, Alancier, Manikandan and so on.
The term ‘Eeda’ itself reveals the place where the story takes place. The story commences on a harthal day in Kannur and ends on another harthal day. The director tries to showcase a powerful love story amidst the violent facet of politics.
Aishwarya belongs to a family with a Communist Party background, whereas Anand hails from a family following the Sangh Parivar. Both of them are in Mysore related to their job and studies. The story of the film progresses as they get to know each other. The main aspect at this point is that both of them belong to two different political parties. Keeping this background, and reflecting the same in the forthcoming scenes, the story is being told from the soil of Kannur itself. The narrative style and treatment adopted here are similar to the films like Annayum Rasoolum and Njan Steve Lopez. At the same time, the film has imbibed the true flavour and style in the diction and sights of Northern Malabar, to a certain extent.
The sub roads full of greenery and the thatched-roof houses undoubtedly lends more beauty to the views of Kannur, and as the camera moves on, it can be seen that the night scenes are the most fabulous shots in the film. The final scenes if the film are outstanding and needs special mention. The camera moves are quite realistic and well paced. Pappu has dealt with the cinematography in the film. The background music merges well with the film. The songs are melodious as well. John P. Varkey and Chandran Veyattummal have rendered music to the lyrics of Anwar Ali. The director himself editing the film has given the film a new level of refreshing experience. Performance wise, this is Nimisha’s film. Compared to the first film, she has come a long way from her first film. In her decisions, love, helplessness and isolation, she leaves a staunch impression in each and every emotion of her character through a very powerful portrayal.
Shane excelled in the first half of the movie, however, as the film progresses, his character gets shadowed with the shades of characters already portrayed before. Though they had only a few scenes in the film, Alancier and Manikandan have secured their roles pretty well. Other characters in the film, big and small, have done their jobs well. Surabhi Lekshmi has rendered a superb performance in the film. The roles of Balachandran and Sudhi Koppa were not felt to be that powerful in the film. Since the story progresses mainly through Aishwarya and Anand, other characters do not seem to be strong at some places. The film demands more space for the other characters as well. In certain places, the characters lose out on the native style of Kannur in their conversations. Kannur is the land of ‘Thaiytam and Thira.’ These art forms are blend in the film in certain places. Eeda tells the story of intense love that blooms in the violent phase of Kannur. A picture of revengeful politics, which leads to a series of political murders is shown in the film. Eeda delicts the love between two people and also the political interference between them.
Eeda portrays the pictures of women taking prominent decisions in life amidst the manly way of revengeful politics, the political activists, who consider sacrificing their lives for the party as an honour, the party workers deciding to live as men, not slaves, the youth, ready to take up weapons on call and the party members, in wheel chairs, still living their lives without any concern to the changes in the world around them, and yet another group of people, trying to mould a generation through Geethopadesham and hymns.. the sights go on. The film is able to reflect the sense of insecurity shown in the film to the audience through these sights. The film is able to showcase the detailing that extends from Whatsapp messages to the televisions at homes. The region of Kannur has appeared in films many times before, mostly shown taking a particular side. However, here, without taking sides with politics or religion, the director has made a bold effort to say certain things. This has put Eeda to the forefront pushing behind all the other films that represented Kannur. The film provides a human touch to the concept of love being divine. At the same time, in certain scenes and conversations, it seems that the director has consciously tried to put across certain thoughts on political righteousness. The views of Kannur and Mysore shown in Eeda gives us the contrasting images of an aggressive region and a peaceful, calm place.
The effort to mention politics in these images cannot be fully accepted. It has to be discussed whether Eeda is a story restricted to Kannur alone. Happiness and prosperity are depicted in two different levels that lead the film. There are political inaccuracies in them as well. In a period where politics lead to revengeful actions of murder and crime, the director has done a fine job in upholding the side of humanity. He can definitely be proud of this. Without having to completely agree with the political opinions of Eeda, this film can be watched in theatres without a trace of doubt. Eeda should have increasing viewers from the modern period. How can we make ‘Eeda’ possible today is the food for thought.