Tag Archives: noir

Sleeping on Jupiter

A novel that promises much but delivers little. Anuradha Roy’s “Sleeping on Jupiter” tugs at your heart all the time, there is a lingering suspense throughout the story, the ending disappoints.

The story starts with three late aged women going on a train journey to Jarmuli a temple town by the sea. In their compartment they meet up with a young bohemian type girl who is engrossed in her music. The train stops at a station, the girl gets off never to be seen again.

As the story progresses, you feel there is a connection between the girl Nomi and the three women, Latika, Vidya & Gouri and you sort of long for it, but it is the girl’s story that takes center stage. Her early life with her parents & brother, the violent upheaval, her subsequent life in an ashram with all its nefarious goings on, and that sort of breaks you apart.

Nomi is on a mission to find her roots and her long lost friend Piku from the Ashram days. There is a tour guide Badal quite desperate to get the attention of Raghu, a hulk with the tea seller, both of them have their own untold stories of angst and despair. There is lot of noir in the story, and you want some light in the story in the form of recognition amongst the characters, a bonding, love, but everything is left dangling in the end. Goodreads 2/5

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Billed as a romantic comedy movie, Malayalam movie “Sarvakalashala” (1987) is anything but that, its in fact a noir movie with a very strong script and story line.

Lal (Mohanlal) is a college student, staying back for 3 years, he is an orphan raised by sisters with no relatives but lot of money provided by his father who left his mother long back. Jeevan (Sreenath) with his sister Jyothi (Lizy) also have a dark past, their mother committed suicide and their father is in Singapore. Add to the melting pot of gloominess is Sidhan Asaan (Nedumadi Venu) who is a poet drunkard with a disturbed past. Gayathri (Sandhya Rani) is a past student of the same college and come back as a teacher now. She also has a sad past and a romantic past with Lal as well.

All of these actors come together to create a sad story of grief, guilt, despair, hopelessness, misery, gloom, that culminates in truth in the end. Mohanlal and Sreenath have performed exceptionally well in their respective roles and Nedumadi Venu is masterful in his depiction of the drunk poet with a sad and guilty past.

Good movie with a strong script and plot that remains true to the story line. There are not many diversions in the story line, it is taut and strong and with a range of exceptionally good actors – Innocent, Adoor Bhasi, Sankarady, Sukumaran, Jagathy Sreekumar, Manian Pillai Raju, Sukumari – it is a masterful noir film, not one for the weak heart. IMDB 6/10

The picture taken from the internet is for representational purposes only, not with an intention to violating copyright.

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