Reviewers claim that Ivide Swargam Aanu is one of the better movies of this Christmas season, James Albert seems to have delivered a solid script after Classmates.
Towards the climax, the director seems to have dropped his ambitions to make a serious social drama. He tries to wind up things quickly in the last half an hour, and these scenes remind of the climax scenes of his first film Udayananu Tharam, and also the climax scenes of Vinayan’s Yes Your Honor. So, the hero deceives the villains and the villains suddenly seem to have lost all their intelligence and common sense – They just believe that the hero has teamed up with them, and they follow him like tamed goats, and things lead to a somewhat comic conclusion. Since the so-called real estate mafia has been cleanly wiped off by the hero, the problem remaining to be solved by him in the last scene is something very personal – All the young women in the movie have expressed interest in marrying him, so he has to select his mate!
In the beginning of the movie, “Sincere Thanks” is expressed to a lot of people and private organizations (the commercials of some of them are conveniently inserted at various places – I suppose they also financed the movie). I think along with this, they should also have expressed “Sincere Apologies” to actors Shankar, Sukumari and Kaviyoor Ponnamma for giving such insignificant roles to them. It was especially sad to see Shankar, who was one of the most popular actors of Malayalam Cinema during the 1980s (He never proved himself as a great actor, but that is a different matter) in such a minor role, with his face hardly being shown clearly on screen in even a single scene.
Ividam Swargamanu offers a probing slice of life that is resonant with moments that are startling, funny and honest. It has a clear-cut quality to it that makes the cautionary tale that it tells transform into a poignant piece of film making.
Mathews (Mohanlal) has built a heaven for himself at the rustic lands of Kodanadu, where he along with his dad Germias (Thilakan) has almost brought about a revolution in bio farming. When the real estate ring starts eying his land, Mathews makes plain his dissent, little realizing that trying times lie ahead for him.
It’s an idyllic paradise that Albert has crafted for the film, so much so that it looks almost out of this world. The hordes of cattle that graze along are accompanied by a gaggle of quacking geese; the windmill sails swivel across a landscape that has the freshest of sprouts springing up from a fertile ground, where man and nature becomes one and harmony reigns.
You would fall in love with the film, not because it tells an earth shattering story, but because of the faith that it has in itself. And it’s on account of this faith that we remain with Mathews through his ordeals to the very end, while he determinedly tries to rebuild his life.
With its virtuous intentions and inherent honesty Ividam Swargamanu is a gutsy and good attempt by Rosshan Andrews and script writer James Albert to bring about a change.
The film talks about a crisis situation that happens in the life of a farmer who loves his land and is committed to thwart evil designs of the land mafia.
Rosshan and James has dealt with a topical subject about fly by night real estate dealers who are trying to push up land prices and forcing people to convert farmland into real estate and resorts.
Mohanlal has been shown as a green farmer who cultivates organic vegetables and runs his farm using traditional methods and thereby director Rosshan Andrrews has tried to bring in some difference.
The movie makes an ordinary start but gradually builds up tensions and curiosity and the final hour of the movie is a scream, ‘the best’ in the offering with finely worked out scenes, few good wits and one liners. Though some sequences remind you of scenes of Midhunam to the recent ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’, James Albert’s story lines had got that sincerity in every dialogues and the protagonist also maintains his ‘agrarian’ directness in all his proceedings. Mohanlal as usual, has a cakewalk through the role of Mathews, who is never projected as a superhero, but as a helpless ordinary man with right dose of emotions and strains. But it is to Lalu Alex, the film rightly belongs to. Portraying the villainous Aluva Chandy in a peculiar manner that is characteristic to his own style, he has his best role of the decade, in the movie. The three lead ladies presented by Priyanka Nair who appear as Betsy, the Television journalist, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, in negative shades of the SFC manager, and Lakshmi Rai, who appear as Sumathy, the lawyer, does their parts well. The director has been able to bring out the best from every one in the cast lines including Thilakan, Sukumari, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Raju and Shankar.
In the downside, the movie could have been trimmed a bit, particularly in the former half where it meanders around unwanted territories, with little results. The equation of Lal-Thilakan and Kaviyoor Ponnamma, hasn’t been utilised to the best which could have given much more life in the former half. And for the few who have the least interest in a theme related to agriculture, few scenes in the initial half may give an air of a docu-drama on agriculture and on maintaining farmlands.