ABCD, or American Born Confused Desi, is another entertaining film starring Dulquer Salmaan. The title refers to the idea that young Indian men and women who were born abroad are confused between the vast differences between Western and Indian cultures. Though the film isn’t as well developed as some of Dulquer’s other films that I’ve reviewed, it still provides for a few laughs.
Katha, Screenplay, Darsakathvam
I don’t believe in spoiling the plot of a film before watching it. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and would like to know the plot, you can read more about it here.
ABCD is a light-hearted comedy that is packed with subliminal comments on the differences between Eastern and Western cultures. The plot is somewhat silly, but that works for the film as the protagonists, Johns (Dulquer) and Korah (Jacob), find themselves in bizarre situations as they try to regain control over their lives. The slow narration of the film does drag at times, and the lack of logic in some of the events that occur are a little distracting; Martin Prakkat, the director, or Don Max, the editor, could have easily shortened the run time of the film without losing anything of major value.
Johns Isaac, an irresponsible and party-loving son who is sent to India for his behavior, is another flawless performance by Dulquer Salmaan. His expressions bring Johns’s frustration to life.
This is the first film I have seen with Jacob Gregory and he is perfect as Korah, the funny sidekick to Johns. The duo make a humorous pair and their bromance is very credible as they squabble and fight but stick together.
Aparna plays Madhumitha, a tough-looking college student and activist with a soft heart, and she is adequate for her role. The role itself could have used some more work as Madhumitha’s relationship with Johns and Korah and her knowledge of their past is somewhat confusing.
Tovino Thomas portrays Akhilesh Varma, the prodigy son of an incumbent minister, and he is effective as a major obstacle to Johns and Korah.
Lalu Alex and Sajani Sachari act as Johns’s parents and justify their roles in the film; their anxiety over their son’s situation is realistic. S. P. Sreekumar is a joy to watch in the film; though he plays a minor character, his performance is jovial.
Gopi Sunder provided very apt tracks for this flick, as always. There are only three songs in the film, which is less than the norm, but they are all quite intriguing and fun. Johny Monne Johny stands out for its catchy lyrics and beats.
The film shifts from the fast-life of New York City to the rundown town life of Kerala, and Jomon T. John does a wonderful job of covering the beautiful visuals of both locales. I recently found out that he was also the cinematographer for Dulquer’s Charlie, so I’m looking forward to watching and reviewing that film as well once I get the chance.
Because it doesn’t follow any of the routines of Indian cinema, ABCD stands out and is essentially a very modern comedy. However, because of its lack of logical flow and sluggish screenplay, the movie seems to lose its purpose amidst the chaos that occurs in Johns and Korah’s lives. ABCD still has its moments, however, and is worth watching for a laid-back evening of absurd situational comedy.
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