BOTTOM LINE: A Monotonous Dramedy That Engages In Parts
Rating: 2.5 /5
Skin N Swear: None
|Platform: Amazon||Genre: Comedy, Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Halal Love Story is a movie within a movie. It is set in Muslim world of the early 2000s when the whole community was going through a troubling time due to the dastardly 9/11 Attacks in the US.
Raheem belongs to a conservative Muslim section. He loves cinema and believes in its power to bring a positive change among the people. He takes the initiative to make a movie and gets Thofeeq as his partner. The journey they undergo to make the film a dream and what happens during the process of making is what the movie is all about?
Joju George plays the role of a struggling director in the movie. He doesn’t follow a caricature of the part and makes it look real. The frustration and anger (subtle) are neatly done. It is a simple yet intense role done convincingly. There are no wow moments, but it offers enough to sink the teeth in for an actor, which is done with aplomb.
Zakariya directs the movie which is set in the Muslim backdrop. The story of Halal Love Story is simple, which can be said of most of the low budget to middle-scale Malayalam movies. It is the writing and casting where they shine, and Halal Love Story is no different. The director has previously made the much loved Sudani From Nigeria in similar style.
As soon as the movie starts, we are drawn into its world thanks to the writing and the actors. They look so believable and real. At the same time, we also get an idea where the problem with the movie could lie.
The narrative lacks fizz. The director’s effort to keep it simple and grounded is nice, but even here, the impact has to be felt. An Iranian film is cited as the template to make the film. They are also made in a similar style but have a lot of power in them. Halal Love Story misses the mark in that aspect.
The proceedings touch various touchy issues within the Muslim community regarding what they find acceptable and not. Everything is done in an undercurrent humorous manner. It is sometimes too subtly done to the extent of making things boring. The lack of drama further compounds the effect. One knows the difference when the character of Soubin Shahir arrives. His segment shows what is otherwise missing in the movie.
The narrative also meanders a lot after taking off. It is due to the various topics that are addressed, as mentioned previously. After a point, Halal Love Story stagnates as far as the story is concerned, and one is left with these subtle humorous bits and underplayed dramatic moments to take things forward. They constitute the whole thing. The screenplay also fails in mixing these two different elements properly.
It is only towards the end when we know where Halal Love Story might be headed that some cohesive impact of the emotions is felt. The whole ‘hugging’ bit, for example, and the subsequent ending are neatly done.
On the whole, Halal Love Story is a simple tale that has its moments. However, they come amidst a lot of boredom that mostly is the effect of a dull narrative. Give it a try if you want to watch something different than usual without loudness, but beware of the monotony on offer.
Heroine Other Artists?
The casting of various artists is one aspect where Malayalam cinema shines the most. It can be seen here. Halal Love Story has several actors doing bits and pieces characters. They all fit the part from Grace Antony to Sharafudheen everyone does their role with interest and bring a certain amount of warmth to them. Soubin Shahir seen in a cameo appearance gets a hilarious character and stands out among the crowd. The rest are alright.
Music and Other Departments?
The music for the film is alright. Various composers work on the project, but consistency is maintained. However, more the songs in the traditional sense, it is the background score that impresses. It is warm and lovely and gives an airy feeling to the narrative. The cinematography by Ajay Menon is excellent. The frames are colourful and bright, mostly. The editing is fine. The writing could have been better.
Some Funny Moments
Boring In Most Parts
Lack Of Invigorating Drama
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with Reservations
Halal Love Story Review by Binged Bureau
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