Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Karthika Muralidharan, Chandini Sreedharan, Siddique, Dileesh Pothen, Soubin Shahir
Director: Amal Neerad
How far will you go for love? This was one question the makers of Comrade in America (CIA) asked the audience before its release. The movie tries to answer that question. However, it’s not merely a love story — there is politics, humour, entertainment and realism. All these elements are beautifully woven with the thread of love.
The story of CIA opens in Pala where the lead character Aji Matthew (Dulquer Salmaan), a young communist, lives. His father (Siddique) is a Kerala Congress supporter but never forces his son to follow suit. Both are poles apart in their ideologies but love each other. Like any hardcore communist, Aji is also well read about the concept and its leaders. They even appear in his dream and converse with him during a crucial moment. Aji falls in love with Sarah (Karthika Muralidharan), a US-based Malayali, who comes to Kerala for studies. It deepens over time and they decide to get married and unexpectedly Sarah is forced to go back to the US. The rest of the movie shows Aji’s quest to find his love crossing borders, taking the most dangerous route.
CIA is, in many ways, a fresh attempt by Amal Neerad. It is different from his usual making style. The script by Shibin Francis takes a fresh plot, which makes the story interesting. Aji’s journey is told in a different tone and set in a new landscape, which is unfamiliar to the Malayali audience. Aji’s mass entry and his power-packed and quick-witted dialogues lift the mood of the movie. The writer has tried to make the character not so preachy about communism and that makes Aji different from comrades Mollywood has seen in the recent past.
If the first half revolves mostly around Aji’s love and politics, the second half shows him walking through a different terrain—through the US-Mexico border. During his journey, he meets refugees from other parts of the world and their plight is shown through his eyes.
The second half is a visual treat. It is an unexplored location in Malayalam cinema and cinematographer Renadive has beautifully captured it.
The character Aji is safe in Dulquer’s hands. The father-son combination by Siddique and Dulquer is quite appealing. Karthika Muralidharan has made a good debut as Sarah and Dileesh Pothen and Soubin Shahir tickle your funny bone. And, CIA would definitely touch those who have gone that ‘extra mile’ for their love....