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Halal Love Story review

Credit: Amazon Prime Video

One of the elements of the cinema is bringing out the story that we are not aware of; not only it takes us to the mindset of that story but also gives us needed insight into it; the recently released film Halal Love Story (2020) on amazon is about story that we are not aware of. The story set in a period after 9/11, which has created a bit of negative impact on Muslims around the world, to spread awareness about the multiple misconceptions among the people about Islam and against the various form of imperialism by America, an Islamic organization set in Kerala take a stand against it by creating street plays and telefilms. To bring effect on a wider level, they decide to make a film to spread their message.

Shereef (Indrajith Sukumaran) wants a film to keep Halal in the context; they approach Thoufeek (Sharaf U Dheen), who writes a script. They choose Siraj (Joju George) to direct the film. While sticking to beliefs plays a significant role, Shereef and Suhara (Grace Antony) pottering a married couple, as they get into the dynamics of their relationship. It shows their reaction to it. While they all try to make the film but can they accomplish it without meddling with their reliance? This forms the center of the story.

Halal Love Story evolves inherently into a story about faith, fondness, and heartbreak. And more particularly, it gives viewers insight into a community and their beliefs and way of living. The film is written and directed by Zakariya Mohammed; like his previous film Sudani from Nigeria, he keeps the story’s subtexts honest and clear where he showcases religion and conventions in a humane uprightness way without any judgments about them. The film follows a movie within a movie format; he cleverly starts the narrative with the clip of the attack of 9/11. This indicates that the film is set to be in 2000, where we see public phone booths, Old mobile phones, and the time’s calmness.  The film’s storytelling is such that it won’t be like you will be rooting everything the characters stand for. Rather, it gives a clear view of what it looks like and leaves the space for viewers to realize what we make of it.

Credit: Amazon Prime Video

The story procures its humor from the picturesque conservatism of the miniature Muslim community it renders, but its satire never plummets into haughtiness. Fairly salient, it does not ennoble or disregard the conservatism either. It takes equitable time to get into its indentation, particularly in the inceptive parts where religiosity is embroidering, even considering the key center is a religious organization. The cast and creator’s real issues unify perfectly into the narrative content, making the film’s most enthralling crossing. The film’s lucidity and authenticity are backed by supporting departments, like Ajay Menon’s cinematography, that transposes fluently from extensive sumptuous shots of the Kerala scenery in the outset sequences to an appreciable closeness with the position and dramatizes personae as it unfolds. Along with Anees Nadodi’s art direction and sound design by Arun Rama, the movie rounds off with satisfying technicalities.

The film’s vision could not be pulled off without cast unforgettable performances; Indrajith Sukumaran as Shereef and Grace Antony as Suhra exhibit exceptional acting cleave as evident in their natural on-screen and not much when they are displaying in the initial portions of the telefilm they are staring in. Soubin Shahir, as a sync-sound technician, gives the much-required comic relief that story needs. Joju George, along with Sharaf U Dheen performances, are equally well with a cameo of Shoubin Shahir and Parvathy.

The movie makes a mart as a  simple story about a layered community’s faith exhibited with entertaining, deceptive, and simplicity. It shows conservatism is neither humorous nor sweet, but it can unequivocally have a farcical, mirthful outcome. The film’s humor is showcased in situational irony and the paradox of faith and how it interprets it. The film has a good important story backed by an excellent start cast.

Overall Halal Love Story is a must-watch; it shows how cinema as a medium can generate awareness. The story’s notion of expressing the vulnerable side of the community often compartmentalizes majorly as vultures. The film has its flaws, but it’s salient to have these light-hearted stories that give us much-needed actuality explores.

You can check out this film now on Amazon Prime.

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Arpit Nayak

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