Check out how this crowd favorite Malayalam movie, Kumbalangi Nights talked about male emotions and relationships in the most engaging way possible.
The alpha male, the protector, the one who saves the day, men in movies have always played the part of the most daring character. They’ve never been portrayed as individuals who can highlight their vulnerabilities and emotions. Men are supposed to be the stronger ones no matter how tough the situation is, right? And while the industry continues to produce such stereotypical characters, there are some movies that explore the different psyches of a man. In today’s Ketchup Cut, we discuss the Malayalam movie Kumbalangi nights and one of its most jarring scenes.
This movie is about four brothers dealing with their own struggles and most importantly, their relationships with one another and the people around them. Kumbalangi nights takes the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions until they have their jaws dropped in wonder at the end.
About the movie:
Director – Madhu C Narayanan
Cast – Shane Nigam, Soubin Shahir, Fahadh Faasil, Sreenath Bhasi, Mathew Thomas
Writer – Syam Pushkaran
Where to watch – Amazon Prime Videos
Relationships between brothers might be one of the least spoken about topics when it comes to Indian cinema. While we had movies like Ram Lakhan in the past, they talked about the bond between brothers but they hardly explored the true nature of them as individual men. Kumbalangi Nights was able to tap into this part of society in the most gripping way. Not to forget, it gave us the most iconic character of all times – Shammi.
This film is an embodiment of things that are less spoken about. It added another feather to the Malayalam film industry, proving yet again how good movies always manage to make some noise for themselves despite the language they are made in. Director Madhu C Narayanan was able to start conversations around Indian men and their emotions in the background of the amazing backwaters of Kerala. The visual appeal of the movie only amplifies the impact of each character. What the audience found unexpected was definitely Fahadh Faasil’s character of Shammi and his uncanny plight of emotions.
The scene in the discussion is the one that happens in the kitchen. The reason this scene made it to our Ketchup Cut is that there is a sense of an eerie aura that Shammi has that just makes you wonder about his behaviour. Him peeping in to ask about something that he overheard, never letting go of the smile on his face and his stone-cold stare while waiting for his wife to confess what they were talking about and his golden chain, all of it adds up to his weird persona. There is also a fun element to the whole scene which makes it even more peculiar. Shammi is someone who believes that he is the epitome of a perfect man. He makes sure he is polite, well-groomed (how can one not talk about his thick moustache), and someone who looks after the house. For him, he’s the man who can make his wife laugh with his jokes, suggest how things can be to his mother-in-law and want to control his sister-in-law’s life too. He wants to be ‘the complete man.’ The small gesture of when his wife and he enter the room after the conversation in the kitchen and the first thing he does is look straight into the mirror and admire himself before continuing the talk gives us a glimpse of his paranoia. For him, it’s his world and everyone else is just living in it. This one scene was proof enough to give the audiences a small side of what was to come in the story ahead.
The other scene that needs a mention is definitely the one before the climax when Shammi’s wife speaks up after a fight and he just runs towards the wall and stands there for 15 mins. Soon after, Simi, his wife puts down the phone after calling one of his relatives we see Shammi all well as if nothing happened. The instant switch in his emotion might be the weirdest thing that happens in the movie.
About the movie:
When asked about his character and what the audience can expect from him, Fahadh said to Times Of India, “Shammi of ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ is no common guy as well. You might have read or heard about such a person. I don’t think he is the kind of character you would interact with, on a daily basis and thus, the peculiar name.”
The writer found the inspiration for the movie from his own memories.
The house that the four brothers lived in was given equal importance. The house was designed with no doors, no colors, focusing on showing the bricks. Even the holes in the wall had their own significance.
The actor who plays Nyla, Jasmine Mètivier is a New York-based actor and had never heard of Malayalam movies before getting the chance to play the character.
Fahadh Faasil was very uncomfortable when he had to go shirtless for the kitchen scene because he always hated it when he watched men work in the kitchen without a shirt when he was young.
Awards and recognition-
- Kerala State Film Awards won for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value, Best Character Actor, Best Music Director, Best Art Director
- Asianet Film Awards won for Best Actor (Special Jury Mention), Best Supporting Actor (Female), Best New Face
- Vanitha Film Awards won for Best Movie, Best Scriptwriter, Best Supporting Actor, Best Debutant Actor (Male), Best Debutant Actor (Female), Best Star Pair
- CPC Cine Awards won for Best Movie, Best Scriptwriter, Best Actress in a Lead Role, Best Background Score, Best Original Song, Best Editor, Best Production Design
- Film Critics Circle of India nominated for Best Film
- International Film Festival of Kerala won for NETPAC Award: Malayalam Film (Special Mention)
- Gollapudi Srinivas National Award won for Best Debutante Director
- Padmarajan Award won for Best Director
- Aravindan Puraskaram won for Best Debutante Director
If you haven’t watched the movie, now’s the chance to do so!
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