Producer- V S Atheesh
Director- K B Venu
Cast- Rima Kallingal, Murali Gopi, Praveen Anadiyil, Thilakan, Sunil Sukhada, Monisha Sagar, Sukumari etc.
Music- Bennett Veetrag
Review By : Unni R Nair (Kerala9.com )
K B Venu’s debut directorial venture ‘August Club’ stands out as a well-made and well scripted film, with neat, excellent performances by the key players.
Anantha Padmanabhan, the son of late P Padmarajan, makes his debut as screen-writer and bases the script on his own short story, ‘Venalile Kalaneekkangal’. The film is a subtle and sensitive portrayal of man-woman relationships, within and outside the realm of marriage.
The protagonist of the film, Savitri (Rima Kallingal), is a happily married wife and a mother of two. Her husband Nandan (Murali Gopi) loves her passionately and is a very responsible and loving husband and father.
Savitri writes poems and loves English literature. She is a member and a regular visitor of the August Club, an elite club. She plays chess there and plays the game excellently well, defeating almost everyone. Nandan works in a corporate company and takes perfect care of his sales career, with full support from his wife too.
Upon advice from Leena (Monisha Sagar), her friend, Savitri decides to send her kids to Nandan’s parents and plans to spend some time alone with Nandan, as sort of a ‘second honeymoon’. But then, Nandan has to go to Bangalore, on an official assignment. Savitri, as usual, is calm and composed and decides to wait for him to come back; she is not the one to sigh and cry and fret and fume. She takes it all in the right spirit.
In the meantime, a young chap named Shishir (Praveen Anidiyil) turns up at the August Club. The Club Secretary KPT Menon (Thilakan), an admirer of Savitri and her skills, wants Savitri to play chess with Shishir and defeat him. Thus Shishir and Savitri become adversaries in the game of chess and from here the story takes off…
‘August Club’ handles it all very sensitively; the performances are neat, excellent, the technicalities very much in tune, the script brilliant and music good.
The most interesting thing about the film is that the protagonist happens to be an intelligent, sensitive woman who is independent minded and lives life in a very sensitive manner. The detour, from the urban setting to Marottichaal, the sleepy village where almost every man plays chess, too is interesting. The end-sequence has been handled very deftly. ‘August Club’ thus happens to be a well-made film, handled very intelligently and sensitively…
Rima is the star here; she has portrayed the character of Savitri brilliantly well. Murali Gopi has handled his part excellently well. His portrayal of Nandan is a big change, compared to the kind of acting he had done earlier, almost all of them with shades of grey. Praveen Anadiyil is good too. The others- including Thilakan and Sukumari, who unfortunately are no more- have done justice to their roles too.
Pratap V Nair, the cinematographer, has composed his frames very beautifully. Art-director Ajayan Mangatt too renders full support.
The background score is one of the highlights of the film. Songs too are good, Kudos Bennett Veetrag!!
Anantha Padmanabhan deserves appreciation for having come up with a striking script, which of course is based on his own short story. He has handled the characterization part well. The scenes too are conceived brilliantly and a special kudos for having handled the end portion excellently well.
K B Venu has done a neat job of his debut film. Of course it’s slow paced and won’t be liked by the masses. Maybe, Venu could have handled it a bit differently and not in the old-fashioned manner. But, honestly speaking, the film is definitely worth a watch or two and is no doubt a good one. Let’s hope the likes of K B Venu, Anantha Padmanabhan, Murali Gopi and Rima Kallingal team up again and again to deliver such good films…
Verdict- Good, sensitive portrayal of man-woman relationships. Excellent work!!