Movie Review : Aadujeevitham

 The film is based on a true story. Najib (Prithviraj) leaves his village with a friend,  to go to the middle east for a job  in search of a higher income and a better life as his wife (Amala Paul) is pregnant and he wants to earn more for his family. 

Once they land at the airport there they find nobody is there to welcome them. They dont speak any other language and cant understand anyone. 

Finally someone does pick them up.  But to their horror, they are separated, their papers taken away and Najib is pushed to work in a goat and camel farm in the middle of the desert. He wants to leave but is forced to stay, beaten for the slightest mistake and  lives in inhuman conditions.

The ordeal goes on for years till he loses count.  Just when he gives up hope of ever meeting his family,  help arrives unexpectedly. 

But the dream to go back home somehow is not easy. He maybe caught at any time,he has no money nor papers and doesnt know the way to the city. Moreover, the only way outvis to walk through the scorching desert.

Does Najib ever find his way home?

The film has director Blessy's inimtable stamp all over it, narrating a poignant tale of separation, hopelessness and survival, with soul stirrring visuals and quiet moments, sprinkled with dramatic events that keep you rivetted,on tenter-hooks and teary -eyed.

The Kerala portions of Najib's life highlight the stark contrast between  his previous life and the waterless desert, cool versus hot, comfort vs pain, love vs inhuman treatment.. the stark differences are beautifully brought to life with the extraordinary camerawork of Sunil KS and editing of Sreekar Prasad.

While the first half establishes the context and story, in a slow paced screenplay, the second half moves faster by contrast, when a ray of hope emerges and things begin to move. 

Prithviraj Sukumaran has excelled in bringing Najib to life with an award worthy performance. His eyes do much of the talking and the way he has worked with his voice is just incredible. To carry a film like this on one's shoulders is a heavy burden and Prithviraj comes out with flying colors. The way the actor has braved the heat, winds, Nature for the role and changed his body into a starved look shows his dedication to establishing credibility which is what makes the film hit home. His eyes do the talking in every frame, more than words could convey. 

Jimmy Jean Louis and KR Gokul's presence leaves a mark.

Renjith Ambady's  make up deserves special mention. 

The scenes where even the animals display empathy with Najib, are among the highlights of the movie.

On the flip side, the subtitles disappear too fast even to grasp fully.
Many scenes in the Gulf area local langauage area not subtitled.
 Some scenes could have been clipped for crisper viewing. The songs in the beginning( though scenic and beautuful) act as a bit of a speed breaker in the drama on screen.
 Being based on a true story, a reference to the real person with photos or clips would have added to the film.  A glimpse of Najib with his family after return would have also been a nice touch and relief to the audience watching his ordeal.

A heaartbreaking, gut-wrenching tale of hope, despair and sheer will power in the face of all odds, Aadujeevitham brings one man's struggle for survival and freedom alive on screen with  Blessy's vision, Sunil KS exemplary camerawork and Prithviraj's extraordinary performance.


Prithviraj Sukuamarn 
Amala Paul
Jimmy Jean-Louis
K.R. Gokul
Talib al Balushi 


Director - Blessy Ipe Thomas
Production -Visual Romance
Music - A.R. Rahman 
Editor -Sreekar Prasad
Cinematography - Sunil KS
Audiography - Resul Pookuttty

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