Despite its tacky beginning, AKASATHINTE NIRAM (The Colour of Sky, 2012, Malayalam) by Dr. Biju soon settles down into a languid and absorbing tale of a small-time robber who is stranded on a remote island amongst a motley group of people who inhabit a bungalow by the sea. The complete absence of any backstory of the characters arouses curiosity about their motivation and lifestyle in the island, and like a slow-burn, the film gradually unpeels its layers to reveal the larger agenda of its inhabitants, catalysing a change in the protagonist towards a cause that deals with human dignity and the environment.
This visually delightful film is shot mostly on the pristine locations of Neil Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (it makes great use of the wooden house on stilts to frame the characters and the surrounding seascape) and relies on long stretches of silence that do not let go of the tension for a single moment. It needs tremendous cinematic skills to sustain such a treatment and the film displays that in abundance.
AKASATHINTE NIRAM is cinema at its most rewarding.
Playing on Amazon Prime.