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Jul 26, 2017

Take Off

Fiction is often created exploring the far-fetched what-ifs of life. But sometimes life outsmarts fiction, the improbable happens to the everyday human. You, me or our neighbor next door becomes the new story without any intention of being so. Most times these otherwise inconceivable events are not usually pleasant in nature. It stretches the limits of human spirit and makes heroes out of average Joe or Jane. Some of these form the material of 'based on a true event' movies. TakeOff is one such movie.

Based on a real-life rescue mission of Malayali nurses trapped in the war zone of Iraq and taken captive by ISIS in 2014, TakeOff takes it material from their harrowing few days in captivity and a coordinated diplomatic rescue mission that procured their release. The engagement of the audience with the subject is brought by focusing on the life of one of the nurses, called Sameera, inspired from the character of one of the real-life nurses involved and played in the movie by Parvathi Thiruvoth.

The treatment, development and execution of Sameera's character - an independent working woman from a Muslim family, who becomes a divorcee and later marries her coworker, has been done commendably. Shot in actual locations, this is a laudable effort by the movie makers to convey authenticity of the situation, hopefully this will be a trend others will follow.

Also worth noting is the moderation exercised in tugging the heart strings of the audience through a melodramatic script which the original story had immense 'potential' for. The script, direction and acting have worked together to create as faithful an interpretation as possible, except for one part at the end (involving Kunchako's character.) But who does not like a happy ending and you have to considerate to a producer who put in the money and effort to let the crew shoot in real locations. So in the light of ensuring the producer's return on the investment, I, the clueless but haughty reviewer, approve this slight of script.

Parvathy Thiruvoth is a force to reckon in the Malayalam movie industry today.  Kunchako Boban and Fahad Fazil are grounded and mature in their supportive roles and so is Asif Ali, who also gets to put in a few minutes. Great job, director Mahesh Narayan and team Take-Off.

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