'Annayum Rasoolum' directed by Rajeev Ravi is one of those rare movies that takes you over completely. In a world where patience is becoming increasingly rare, sitting through 'Annayum Rasoolum' for 3 hours could seem quite long but watching the film could turn out to be a great experience for lovers of good cinema.
The film has a very realistic narration. The characters-their words and action, the 'real' Kochi and its way of life is depicted in the movie. It is on the lap of Kochi that the life of Rasool (Fahad Fazil), Anna (Andrea Jeremiah), Abu (Shine Tom Chacko) and Collins (Soubin Shahir) unfurls. 'Annayum Rasoolum' tells the moving tale of Anna and Rasool's love. The movie opens and ends with the same scene. The scene is that of the narrator (Sunny Wayne) in a ship. Rasool's story is narrated by Sunny Wayne. He works aboard a ship and is home on leave. On reaching Kochi, he is driven home in Rasool's taxi. This car ride is symbolic in many ways, and foretells major events in Rasool's life. On one hand the conversation between Rasool and Sunny Wayne, with Rasool objecting to the passenger (Sunny Wayne) smoking inside the car and Sunny Wayne's counter a few minutes later with a remark that its wrong to talk on the phone while driving,(when Rasool picks up the ringing phone), epitomises the rapport they share later.
On the other hand Sunny Wayne's reply to Rasool's question that the most beautiful women are found in Vypin, anticipates the entry of Anna, a Vyppin beauty, to his life. His life in Kochi with his two friends Abu and Collins is a carefree one, drifting along like the ebb and flow of tides. The three are street smart and have occasional run-ins with other gangs in the area. It is one of these clashes during a church festival in Vyppin that brings Anna in front of Rasool. The later scene depicting fascination and love for Anna is at once endearing and comic. He pursues her at her home and at the textile shop where she works as a salesgirl. Anna too falls in love with him in spite of the differences in their background, religion and way of life. Anna's family consist of her recluse father and a rowdy younger brother Kunjumon. In such a dismal situation, and on the verge of ending her life, Rasool comes into her life. Their love is all-encompassing. The trouble starts when they realise that it is Anna's brother with whom Rasool and his friends are engaged in the feud. Things take a turn from worse to ugly when the brother comes to know about their relationship. Rasool is forced to flee to Ponnani while in the meantime Anna's marriage is fixed to another man named Francis. What follows is a life and death trial. Whatever the end, love will always be around is what is underscored in the film.
'Annayum Rasoolum' is evidenly a team work. The entire cast and crew have worked in tandem. The performance of the entire cast including Fahad with his street smart charm and looks, Andrea Jeremiah, Rasool's two comrades, Sunny Wayne, Srinda Ashab etc is spot on. The presence of five notable directors of Malayalam cinema including Ranjith Balakrishnan as Rasool's father, Usman, Aashiq Abu as Rasool's brother, P. Balakrishnan as their uncle, M. G. Sasi and Joy Mathew is notable. Music by K sets the tone beautifully. The songs 'Kandu randu kannu' and 'Kaayalinarike' sung by Shahabaz Aman are especially striking. Screenplay by Santosh Echikkanam to Rajeev and G. Sethunath's script is flawless. Madhu Neelakantan's camera has simply loved Kochi, and captures the scene realistically. Rajeev Ravi has struck gold with his directorial debut itself. The wealth of experience as a cinematographer in films like 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'Classmates', 'Ivan Megharoopan', etc has been translated to perfection as a director too. The film has resonances of Shakespeare's all time great 'Romeo and Juliet'. The movie is a good cinema and a must-watch.