Cast: Padmapriya, Mamta Mohandas, Isha Talwar, Srinda Ashab, Priyanka Nair, Richa Panai, Mythili, Anjali Aneesh Upasana, Manasa Radhakrishnan, Punasseri Kanchana
Director: Lenin Rajendran
When the anthology film Crossroad comprising 10 shorts was introduced, director Lenin Rajendran made the intention clear — it would be a celebration of womanhood. In that sense, the portmanteau film sticks to the theme.
It has 10 different women standing at the crossroads of their life and making decisions that impact their future, often thumbing a nose at the traditions and fences imposed by society.
When 10 film makers with different trains of thoughts come together, it makes room for some unique spins and twists to otherwise traditional or clichéd storylines.
The film starts off with the segment directed by Madhupal titled Oru Ratriyude Kooli, where Padmapriya plays a prostitute, but one who yearns to be a mother and has a heart of gold.
Kaval directed by Nemom Pushparaj has Priyanka Nair who plays the proud wife of a late Army Jawan whose memories she never lets die and boldly fights off advances from men.
Pakshiyude Manam directed by Nayana Suryam has Mythili playing a wildlife photographer in search of an exotic bird, shrugging aside the conditions laid down by a jealous husband.
Maunam directed by Babu Thiruvalla touches a chord, with Manasa Radhakrishnan playing a girl who is forced to become a nun bowing down to the wishes of her bedridden mother and sacrificing her love.
Badar is a powerful film with Mamta Mohandas putting up a superlative performance as a Muslim woman who teaches society the true meaning of religion, brotherhood and love.
Mudra directed by Albert has an endearing performance by Isha Talwar playing a dancer who shows how powerful friendships can be in salvaging lives.
Lakehouse by Sasi Paravoor takes a look at the power of love and the loneliness of death. Richa Panai and Rahul Madhav breathe life into their roles.
Kodeshyan directed by Pradeep Nair with thespian Punasseri Kanchana is perhaps the most powerful of the lot with an endearing and heartwarming story of an old lonely woman making a decision to adopt a puppy.
Cherivu by Avira Rebecca is thrilling, with Srinda using her smarts to get the better of a taxi driver Manoj K. Jayan on a long journey. It reminds one of the Happy Journey segment directed by Anjali Menon in Kerala Cafe.
The last one Pinpe Nadappaval directed by Lenin Rajendran has a powerful performance by debutant Anjana Chandran and looks at marital rape. The film succeeds in showing the different shades of women. The shorts are at times thrilling, dramatic, predictable and sometimes lagging, but credit should be given to the disparate narratives that have been stitched together. And if you find one short to be lackluster, there is always the next one....