‘Double Barrel’: It’s like Guy Ritchie meets Emir Kusturica

double-barrel-2015-review

More like double middle fingers to the pre-established notion of what “Malayalam cinema” is actually supposed to be like. Absolutely bonkers, self-indulgent filmmaking at its finest but at the same time a whole lotta fun.

No, this is not the worst Malayalam movie in cinema history. I laughed out loud during several scenes and this doesn’t suggest that I have low standards. It’s as if Lijo Jose Pellissery said, “I want to make the craziest Malayalam movie ever made and I don’t give a fuck what people think!” and just went ahead and made it with an extra pair of balls.

A lot of colorful and amusing characters, especially the African dude who speaks in Malayalam and even sings “Chettikulangara Bharani Naalil…” I was like, “Is this for real? Oh my God! I love it!” And does anyone else apart from me think that Prithviraj is more entertaining when he plays comical characters?

Each character has his/her own style of diction. At first, I thought this movie was taking place in some alternate universe but then they started mentioning Alappuzha and I was like, “Okay so this is basically an alternate version of Kerala”. Prithviraj, Indrajith, and Arya are totally nuts in this movie but they were so hilarious. You have to be a little fucked up in the head – which I am – to enjoy something like this.

I guess the best way to describe the film would be “Guy Ritchie meets Emir Kusturica”. The plot has few similarities to Ritchie’s ‘Snatch’ and the bizarre characters – there are plenty of them and they are all doing some weird shit – remind one of a Kusturica film. This is the sort of film that will never work in Kerala and the audiences have already made that clear with their harsh response.

And the film’s color palette and production design reminded me of the works of two other directors – Terry Gilliam and Jean Pierre-Jeunet. If I have few gripes, they are in regard to the slow motion, MTV-style editing and freeze frames which were a little (“A little?”, you may ask) excessive and repetitive. But I have a feeling that this was deliberate. I got a big kick out of this movie and I’m sure I’ll watch it again.

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