Eeda: Love in turbulent times
Much more than just a romance, the film highlights life in the killing fields of Kannur
What is the big deal in a film where a boy meets a girl and both of them fall in love? Moreover, both of them belong to the same class, caste and financial background. Yes, it has something more to tell as the story is set in Kannur, the heartland of Kerala's political activity, where politics is life and death.
Eeda, which literally translated means 'here' in local parlance, narrates how the personal choices and space of people are mired in a politics which is soaked in blood. The laterite soil of the land has turned more reddish in the last five decades with the blood of the foot soldiers of two rival parties. Else, the story of Anand (Shane Nigam) and Aishwarya (Nimisha Sajayan) and their love would not be worth mentioning.
Cast: Shane Nigham, Nimisha Sajayan, Surabhi Lakshmi, Manikandan R Achari
Director: B Ajithkumar
The film, which runs into the life of a number of characters around the lovers is perhaps the first authentic on-screen portrayal of political violence, which creeps into the families that belong to two parties, of course, camouflaged as KPM and KJP. The body language of the characters, the slang they speak and the milieu they reside in, all make it a highly credible attempt.
The film begins and ends in hartals, called by these two parties, which throws a light on how political activities intrude into the life of individuals. Unlike in those films which come with a political tag, this one goes inside the houses and brings out exclusive details of personal lives and the strategies behind the war rooms of the area. The reality, pain and angst are best expressed by the female characters who want to get rid of this type of strangulating political fiefdoms.
The crisp and witty dialogues, sharp characters, powerful performances and convincing locales are all proof of the meticulous homework done by the team. The camera and music sync well with the mood. However, the debutant writer-director, B Ajith Kumar, who is a many-time national and state award winner in editing could have spent a little more time on his editing table to chisel away the 150-minute film a bit more, especially towards the end.
Eeda is here to tell you to make love, not war, in a subtle yet audacious manner. It's is more than just a romantic outing. Unlike some recently celebrated films, it gains significance for the intellectual honesty and down-to-earth approach.