Eeda movie cast: Shane Nigam, Nimisha Sajayan, Surabhi Lakshmi
Eeda movie director: B Ajithkumar
Eeda movie rating: 3 stars
Eeda is the directorial debut of renowned film editor B Ajithkumar and is produced by the Collective Phase One, a group of famous filmmakers that is dedicated to promoting realism in Malayalam cinema. Edea is a Northern Kerala slang for “now”. It is the big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Eeda makes an apt title for the film as the heart-rending love story is happening “the here and now” in the backdrop of politics of hatred in Kerala.
Eeda is set in the modern-day Kannur, where the enmity between two rival political parties are at its peak. The revenge killings and use of homemade explosives have become a norm. Following one such killing, the party of the victim calls for a hartal.
During the hartal, Aiswariya (Nimisha Sajayan) arrives from Mysore. She is stranded and unsure how will she reach her home with all the luggage. Anand (Shane Nigam), who is passing by on his bike, agrees to drop her off near her home. The two strangers make acquaintance with each other as they cruise through the deserted streets. They get chased by some party workers, who tries to hurt them for defying hartal. Next, they both have their first fight. Aiswariya threatens to walk away from him. But, Anand won’t let her go. He convinces her to stick with him until they reach the destination.
Aiswariya and Anand develop a solid mutual trust and friendship during the course of their first motorbike ride together. And they naturally feel attracted to each other. Not just because they are young and good looking. There is a more intimate reason for that. Both of them have sheer contempt for the politics and everything that comes with it.
Aiswariya has been promised for a communist party worker by her family. And when she sees Anand, she dares to dream of a different life that is away from the bloody politics that has invaded every bit of her personal life.
Aiswariya and Anand aspire to build a non-violent life for themselves but always at the risk of falling into the vicious cycle of politics. Upendra (Manikandan Achari) tells Anand that he would live and die for the party because it provided for his family when he lost his father at a young age. Each character in the film that kills or get killed is bound by loyalties than the party ideologies. People kill the other one because of personal vengeance or to avenge someone that lacks any true political reason.
Ajithkumar convincingly captures the senseless and vicious politics that has its finger wrapped around the spine of every aspect of the people’s life. Not just Aiswariya and Anand, each character in Eeda has to choose his or her party’s preference over the personal choices.
The violent scenes have been brilliantly choreographed to build the tension into the narrative that also highlights the blind rage and hatred that runs high between the party lines. The action scenes bring in the much-needed pace in parts, which feels a bit drab.
While the film is dotted with subtle emotions, the intense drama of following tears, longingness, hopelessness and helplessness comes into play towards the third act.
Ajithkumar mainly uses close up shots and wide shots to show the conflicts between the choices made by the characters and the choices made by their surroundings for them. Nimisha and Shane seamlessly blend into the narrative and deliver very natural performances. The Kannur Romeo and Juliet don’t share a sparkling onscreen chemistry that we expect to see in romantic movies. But, they convince us as the star-crossed couple, who have been deprived of personal freedom.