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How Anjali Menon spread her charm all over Koode

Most filmmakers who plan to remake a critically acclaimed film, try to make sure that they retain the soul of the original. The hardest part is to take an existing story and build a whole new world around it. After watching Koode, a section of the viewers would have immersed themselves in that sweet poetic world created by Anjali Menon. Bringing in various angles, that may take over our soul in the subtlest possible manner. Not for a second does the fantasy angle act as a hindrance in our understanding of what is being presented to us. Anjali beautifully sets the world of relationships, touch, and liberty. Again, Koode is a film about homecoming. Joshua, Jenny, Sophie, Coach Ashraf and almost every other character has its own phase of homecoming. All of them are rebellious characters in their own right. However, do we all know why the caged bird sings?

Let us take a quick look at Anjali's previous works! Manjadikuru is another film about family relationships and homecoming, Ustad Hotel (Written by Anjali Menon and directed by Anwar Rasheed) speaks about relationships, poverty, and deliverance. Bangalore Days discusses various relationships, and well liberation too! But at no point in any of these three films do we find a repetition. We have various writers discussing relationships the way we want to see them, but has Anjali taken that a step above to do it like nobody else? Somewhere above love, there is a need to talk about that element that gets us under the skin of each of her characters. The starting point of a filmmaker's journey into writing something would be to establish their characters and she does that with finesse. Anjali brings to the foray- families, friendships, and romance in the relatable sense.

In every film of hers, most of the characters are caged birds in some way, and their character arcs are the key to the cage. They have a travel, a life that leads us to the film. It is about breaking the shells formed by themselves, their families or the society. With respect to Koode, the factor called touch is deemed as an important feature in that world. Which is a good touch, and which is bad? There is not a single dialogue that talks about this, yet we comprehend. Visual story-telling has become a primary part of Anjali's narratives, and this is what makes her stories feel mystical and poetic. "Don't walk, run. Don't run, fly!" - says Jenny. She wants to fly, just like Natasha (Nithya Menon) from Bangalore Days. Symbolic representations of the same are seen, with the wall paintings, songs, and the character's behavior. But here's the question that we hope is addressed - Is what you seek, seeking you?

Faizi (Dulquer from Ustad Hotel) finds the need to hide his passion, Arjun (Dulquer from Bangalore Days) determines his own terms, Sophie (Parvathy from Koode) is incapacitated. But somewhere and somehow, a magic is neatly infused into all these characters that are wounded deep in the soul. Something that plays a major role in this magic-building process is the nativity of the characters with the place they live in. Be it Kozhikode in Ustad Hotel, Bangalore in Bangalore Days or Ooty in Koode. Don't we feel like we live with them? If the characters face a setback, they team up to work through it. Since her films mostly deal with families, we are bound to wonder if this is how beautiful Anjali's family is. The comical elements in her films never seem force-fitted. It becomes a natural tendency to laugh wholeheartedly, even for the simplest of one-liners. I reckon it is because we're deeply etched with the core of these beings, that we connect with the emotion as much as they do.

An imaginary Jenny guides Joshua towards his pragmatic path. Joshua in-turn guides Sophie to break free from her bubble. In a nutshell, Jenny seeks Joshua when he seeks her. So ultimately, we get the answer; What we seek is seeking us. Knowingly or unknowingly, Anjali presents the scheme of it being okay to seek something far-fetched. For all you know, it would seek you too! Look back at her characters from Bangalore days and try to infuse this idea with them. But this brings us to the big question. Has she ever come across bad people in her life? Or does she only see the positive aspects of theirs, because if you watch closely, none of her films have an antagonist. The conflict is the only villain, and the story is the sole hero. This is probably why she is one of the finest female writer-directors... Oops. She is one of the finest writer-directors our country has seen.

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