Comrade in America
: A young Aji Mathew is a communist who goes the whole nine yards for the ideologies he believes in. When the girl he loves leaves to the US out of the blue and her parents fix her wedding, Aji is left with just a fortnight to reach the country albeit with no passport or visa. How far he is willing to go for love forms the plot.
Comrade in America
: A Dulquer Salmaan film directed by Amal Neerad – that’s enough to send the expectations soaring for the fans of the actor and the director. For Amal, the movie is a marked shift from his cult action films such as Big B. The turn began with the featurette Kullante Bharya in the anthology Anju Sundarikal that had Dulquer as the protagonist, followed by Iyobinte Pusthakam and has now led to Comrade in America, a coming of age tale scripted by Shebin Francis.
The movie, apparently based on true events, kicks off with a few politically-charged scenes that take cues from some recent developments in Kerala politics. It introduces Pala-based youth Aji Mathew (Dulquer Salmaan), a die-hard communist who follows the ideologies to the T. Be it digging graves for social outcasts, picking fights with unruly bus employees for harassing college students or lending a hand to those in need, Aji is the model communist, a hero of the masses. The plot though quickly devolves into a love story – that now challenges Aji to go the whole nine yards for love!
Sarah (Karthika Murali), the girl Aji loves, goes to the US out of the blue and her wedding is fixed with another guy. Her last call implores him to reach the country to talk her parents out of it. However, the hassles in front of Aji are numerous – two of them being that he has no passport or visa. How he overcomes these and if he makes it in time forms the plot.
Dulquer is perfect as Aji – the impish charm adds to his character’s taunting persona while he balances that out with the innocence when confronted with the problems that he has no solutions for. He also nails the Kottayam accent and his swagger especially in the intro and climax scenes is pleasing. Dulquer never once seems out of place as the youth from Pala, even as he finds himself in Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico.
The scenes between Dulquer and Siddique, who plays Aji’s dad, and those with Dileesh Pothen and Soubin, elevate the entertainment quotient of the film with clever use of humour. Where the movie slacks though is the second half in which the struggles to get to the US doesn’t quite hit home despite the script pointing out the misery of several characters. Debutante Karthika Murali doesn’t have much to do but plays her part well. The casting team deserves a special mention for the casting of three renowned comrades – Che Guevara, Lenin and Karl Marx – in the movie. John Vijay and Chandini Sreedharan too put on a decent performance.
CIA also takes the audience through Mexico and the US, and the cinematographer Ranadive has done his best to capture some splendid visuals. Gopi Sunder’s background music adds so much to the film. Amal Neerad has refrained from using stylish sequences in the film, which once again complements the story and its flow that takes its own sweet time to develop.
The film is an entertaining affair, which has humour, drama, great visuals, a good soundtrack and most of all, a splendid performance by Dulquer.