Dear Anwar Rasheed,
I hope you are doing great. And why wouldn’t you be. You have just made a film like no other. I want to let you know that it has been more than a week now since I saw ‘Bridge’, and I still cannot get it out of my mind.
When I went to the theatre on that Friday night with family and a friend to watch ‘Kerala Cafe’, I had bargained for different cinema. I had bargained for 10 short films. For the kind of story telling that has endeared me to Malayalam cinema over the last two decades. I had bargained for 2-3 good ones out of the 10. I had even bargained for a bunch of films that would reflect the rot that has set into Malayalam cinema of today.
What I did not bargain for, was a bulldozer of a movie to hit me head on and change the way I would look at cinema forever. I had not prepped for that and I was not ready. May be thats why I dont remember much about the 3 films that were screened after ‘Bridge’.
It was the second movie after intermission I think and I had just taken another big swig from my cold coffee, when I noticed a peculiar opening shot of the camera panning down from a height, closing in on a school boy in a red hood, running on a bridge, clutching a pendant. Even in those few seconds, I could tell that this was a different kind of film. And over the next ten minutes, I did not move. I just sat there, taking in frame after frame of meticulous composition, cuts that blended with my pulse, performances that brought a lump to my throat and a music score that went straight to my head.
I did not know that it was your film, Anwar. Even after the end credits, as they were in Malayalam. And when I googled the film later on and saw your name, I was shocked. Because I always associated you with a horrible film you once made called ‘Rajamanikyam’. Mmm…how we judge a book by the fist few pages!
Anyway….It is difficult to review your film Anwar, as I still have not recovered from it. May be I’ll be able to do it in a month or so. But suffice it to say that it was one of the finest I have ever seen on the silver screen.
Thanks for rekindling my fires. Thanks for making me fall in love with Cinema all over again.