Mulla is a young teenager in the beautiful Lakshwadeep and in craving to find the older brother Akbar, makes a risky trip to Mumbai. The latter, seen as both an outcast and a legend by the locals, had left his home long ago. Trying to escape the evils of Mumbai, not understanding the language, Mulla get stuck between prostitute Rosie and Bhai, the gangster who everyone dreads in that slum area. Bhai tries to sell Mulla to make money and Mulla tries to escape. When Mulla finally tells Bhai that she is actually a girl dressed in boys clothes in search of her brother Akbar, we are told that Bhai is indeed Akbar, thats when the mystery of his departure revealed. Going into flashback, we meet Amir, an enigma, handsome guy, who is mute and can't speak. While he is visiting his village from Mumbai, some kind of sparks fly between the 2 men and you see the purest form of love develop between the two me. But as expected the society doesn't accept it and both the men hurt themselves in their own way. Amir ends his life when he is rejected by Akbar because of social pressure. But by the time Akbar realizes his mistake, its too late and he moves to Mumbai. Back in harsh Mumbai, life is no easy. The ending waiting for Akbar and his sister is dark but possible true depiction of what could have happened.
As dark as the film is, what stayed with me till the very end is the warm and beautiful relationship between Akbar and Amir. The love has been portrayed with such warmth and sensitivity that your heart reaches out to them , especially since not many words are spoken between them. The sign language and the silence amongst beautiful island landscape says it all. It captures the instant spark, the blossoming romance, and the sexual tension that burns like wildfire when Akbar falls deliriously in love with Amir. Theirs is an affair that grows in the shadow of secrecy and intolerance, and Akbar finds it both euphoric and terrifying. Their chemistry is so very organic and realistic, we can easily relate to every moment of their love story. In fact, I will applaud the makers for showing few more characters in the gender spectrum. We see Mulla as the teenager being gender fluid. The beautiful performance by the eunuch who strikingly has a real persona as a transperson nursing deep wounds. But the love is less than half the film. The primary focus is the teenage's search for her brother, who till end doesn't know who he is. The film is intimate, gritty yet mythic. The transition of mild mannered Akbar to the menacing goon of Mumbai, both physically and emotionally is applaud worthy. It's a performance to watch out. And so is the teenager trying to navigate a city and a language, a big bad world is not an easy task. And finally I have to say that Roshan Mathew playing Amir, is like the perfect angel in the midst of mayhem, murk and grit that the overall film is trying to tell, which according to me was a little too harsh.
The film is a dark fairytale. Watch it for the taboo love between 2 men, watch it for the tonal extremes of two different timinigs being shown in the film and overall watch it for the beautiful performance. (8/10)