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Farhana Movie Review

Actress Aishwarya Rajesh is flying high and solo in her own zone churning out more female centric ventures. She has opted for a daring subject in her latest outing Farhana. The drama is about a Muslim woman whose resolve to pull her family out of poverty is endangered when a stranger enters her life. Actress Aishwarya Rajesh who was last seen in the black comedy film Soppana Sundari is back on screens with her thriller drama Farhana. Director Selvaraghavan and Jithan Ramesh have essayed pivotal roles in the flick. Story teller Nelson Venkatesan has written and directed the entertainer. So, how has the thriller flick Farhana come out? Is it solid enough to bag commercial success and add momentum to actress Aishwarya Rajesh’s mission to focus on doing female centric projects? To know that let us get into the movie review. 

Aishwarya Rajesh s Farhana Movie Poster 01

Aishwarya Rajesh s Farhana Movie Poster 01

The film revolves around Farhana (Aishwarya Rajesh), a housewife who hails from a struggling middle class Muslim family. She lives with her father Ajeez Bhai (Raja Krishnamoorthy), her husband Kareem (Jithan Ramesh), and their children. The shoe shop that both her father and husband operate does not bring in sufficient income to meet their ends. An acquaintance invites Farhana to take up a job interview for a position in a call center. After initial hesitance, she attends the interview and clears it. She decides to work for them. The job enables her to provide more for the family. She envisions a bright future for her children and starts to save money for their education. Unexpectedly, her younger child falls sick and is admitted to a hospital. This shatters her dream and suddenly puts her in need of more money. One of her friends Nithya (Anumol), who recently switched to a different department makes a good amount of money. She seeks her help and joins the department. It is a chat department, where people talk in a lewd and obscene manner. Farhana’s moral turpitude is disturbed, and she feels disgusted. 

When she contemplates quitting, she strikes up a conversation with a stranger called Dhayalan (Selvaraghavan). Unlike others, he speaks to her in a thoughtful and empathetic way. He appears to be a medium of outlet to her loneliness and difficult condition. Soon they begin to chat daily, and share events of their lives. In no time, they develop feelings for each other. Suddenly, Dhayalan goes mute which makes Farhana anxious. When he starts calling her again, she admits her feelings for him. He reciprocates and demands that they meet the following day. Farhana tries to convince him that she could not as it happens to be Eid. However, she has a change of mind, and decides to meet him. By then she is informed of the death of her friend Sofia (Aishwarya Dutta), who had gone to meet a stranger she chanced upon in the chat session. A perplexed Farhana returns home, and stops talking with Dhayalan. Frustrated by this , Dhayalan begins to blackmail her. How will Farhana come out of this mess that she has landed in, is what makes the rest of the flick. 

In an industry that prefers tried and tested storylines, director Nelson Venkatesan’s intent to explore such an issue is commendable. Half-baked attempt at storytelling or inconsiderate writing would have done great injustice to the plot. It is a big relief that the captain of the ship film maker Nelson Venkatesan is someone who knows what he is doing. He meticulously develops the plot evading the condescending and bigoted shades. The biggest plus of the film is how well he has molded Farhana with a coalesce of vulnerability and resolve. First few minutes of the film effectively gives us a peek in to the world of Farhana where we find her confined within the demarcated opinions of her family members. Soon she gets a modicum of leeway to breath. Before she could fully enjoy it, she is sort off deprived of it and chained to her circumstance. This staging spectacularly fashions space for the conversation between Farhana and Dhayalan. In these sequences, the human whim, and the dilemma of Farhana as to whether to act up on it is captured with authenticity. 

Though the core theme of Farhana spins around the perception and difficulties in being a working woman, sporadically it flirts with multiple complex human emotions. But disappointingly they are not fleshed out convincingly. In fact, they are abandoned abruptly leaving us displeased. For instance, the mental struggle of a mother to decide on if she should choose to do something she loathes just so she can pay her child’s medical bill, how loneliness drives people to quickly accept even the slightest solace offered by a stranger, and the stretch where the wife confesses to her husband of her transitory transgression. Even a minuscule amount of elaboration in these moments could have made Farhana into an exceptional cinematic experience. Also, Dhayalan remains a stranger even to us. Perhaps, it is intentionally done for a sense of obscurity. But it has not quite worked out as premeditated. 

Actress Aishwarya Rajesh shoulders Farhana beautifully. She blends well with the girl next door image when she is introduced to us. And when things get complex, the vulnerability, the fight, and the resolve she brings on to her part demonstrates the tall stature she has reached as a performer. Actor Selvaraghavan once again displays that he has it in him to be a top-class thespian. Actor Jithan Ramesh holds our attention with his performance. Actress Anumol does complete justice to her part. Actress Aishwarya Dutta has pulled off her role effortlessly. Actor Sakthi is exceptional. Actor Raja Krishnamoorthy makes his presence felt even in a limited screen time. Actress Vishalini serves the purpose for which she was brought on board. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music director Justin Prabhakaran’s music adds a lot of value to the movie. His songs are inspiring. Even he shines with his background score which emphasizes the emotions involved in respective scenes, and splendidly seals the silent moments that have so much to convey. Cinematographer Gokul Benoy has covered the entertainer from the best angles possible. His work stands out especially in capturing the tension throughout the drama. Editor V J Sabu Joseph enhances the work of his colleague with his fine trim job. 

On the whole, director Nelson Venkatesan’s Farhana is a simple, neat, and a no-nonsense thriller drama that is elevated to heights by a brilliant Aishwarya Rajesh.

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