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Edited by: Navya Kopparthi

(Trigger warning; this text contains a discussion on self-harm as portrayed in the film)

Kilikoodu: 'a bird's nest.' Nestled between the limitations of filming and a genuine interest to put out a film about the pandemic, Kilikoodu shone out bright and enriched with content. Having shot this while considering the limitations, the movie has attempted several beautiful alternatives of storytelling. The story evolves beyond the fixed household location from in-film camera rolls to occasional google meet platforms. 

A glance through the film shows reflections of the pandemic lifestyle and the many confrontations it brings. The main actress, Kiara, is portraying a 'Gulf brought up Malayali girl', and it is so refreshing because it doesn't show any strained effort in her acting. The accented Malayalam with a mixture of English words, specifically when she is frustrated, makes her a realistic and relatable character.

The critical narrative that makes this story relatable is the return of students and work goers from their western worlds, to back into their traditional home setups. Kiara portrays her discomfort very realistically in feeling disjoint with the family. One of the most beautiful sequence shots showed the family moving on with their days while at the centre, Kiara was nearing her breakdown. The film crew shot the transitions seamlessly, which added to the importance of the scene. 

*Spoiler alert* The story then portrays how, during the lockdown, numerous family conversations take place. In the same narration, the discussion of her parents' negligence and divorce are central to the plot. While the peak of her breakdown was portrayed with frustration, throwing around vessels, etc., the handling of self-harm seemed a little problematic to me. Firstly, it describes self-harm as a solution, or rather as the 'act' that reinitiated the divorce conversation. In the ending sequence, Kiara admits, "sometimes I feel I could have avoided it all if we had that conversation earlier, but as the saying goes, everything has its right time". Again the idea of self-harm is attached to having the conversation, which they could have handled it more delicately. 

In conclusion, Sanjana Nair, the actress playing Kiara, did a fantastic job in emoting such diverse human feelings while still staying relatable. In the final sequence, Kiara says 'my Kilikoodu' about her family; a tiny bit imperfect, yet growing and adapting as we've seen through the movie. Kilikoodu has brought out a tremendous cinematic experience through the beautiful shots of the house and smaller areas.

Naaqab Films presented Kilkoodu during a global pandemic, enabling us to see the world in a different frame, showing how important it is to converse and listen to our loved ones. It is a movie that deserves a watch, and it is for everyone who wants a perspective of the stories you, your neighbour, and the world holds.


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