Hawkins Muffin Review: A weird Malayalam movie that remixes Scroll and Stalker

Krishnendu Kalesh’s first film Hawks Muffin (Malayalam title: ப்ரபேடா) is a different film that shares DNA with Indian films like Q’s Tasher Desh or Lilo Jose Pellissery’s Churuli. It premiered this week in the Pride Future section of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Will Hawkins Muffin make a splash like Sanal Kumar Sasitharan’s 2017 Malayalam film Sexy Durga (released as S Durga in India) and PS Vinodraj’s 2021 film Pebbles (Tamil title: Pebble)? Both films won the IFFR Best Tiger Award and received rave reviews in India, the latter being India’s entry for the Best International Film Award at the 2022 Oscars.

Although it is said to deal with heavy themes (patriarchy, war, military-industrial complex, environment and ecology), Hawkins ‘muffin is very vague about Coles’ land concerns. An easy label would be “Surreal”, but it’s not Surreal in the way that David Lynch films are. They support the puzzles, story and screenplay that operate on dream logic. Hawkins’ Muffin is said to have been made without a screenplay. Most of it was upgraded. All we get are strange scenes one after the other. The best way to look at this is to ask, “Well, what’s next?” Thinking that, believing that logic will manifest itself, soaking in strangeness. “What does this mean?” If you continue to think that, you may be frustrated because you do not want the writer-director to understand the story directly.

Well, not the story at first. There are only Kalesh’s ideas, which should catch on to you and then make you a “WTF” through his therapy. He is certainly a fictional filmmaker, but if he wanted to communicate his thoughts to the audience, he should have turned his ideas into story and screenplay, without trying to impress them with the films he could come up with.

Hawk Muffin Review: A Still from the Movie.
Hawk Muffin Review: A Still from the Movie.

Filmed on a rubber estate in Kerala, the Hawks Muffin is set in post-epidemic India and expands into another world space, such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) or the site in the jungle. A young woman Ruby (Ketaki Narayan) is the sole heir to the estate, but she is captured by a crowd of men who are brave enough by tradition and weapons. Guardian Xavier (Jayanarayanan D), a soldier with a mysterious past.

Ruby’s ancestor, an army pilot, formed the community in this jungle after he was ordered to go into hiding after throwing a bomb somewhere. For decades, this remote estate has operated like a prison. The caregiver ensures that the women of the family do not go too far from their home, that the workers work quietly, and that there are no intruders. Thumban (Nitin George), a policeman who wants to take part in the property, shakes things up, claiming to be a stranger (Rajesh Madhavan), perhaps a robot (or an alien, who knows?) And a relative of Ruby. . Ruby’s crippled mother (Nina Kurup) is also there. He shared a moment with his daughter who reminded me of the hand pump scene coming up in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D movie.

Hawk Muffin Review: A Still from the Movie.
Hawk Muffin Review: A Still from the Movie.

Kalesh has previously produced the black and white short film Karinzathan with subtitles on YouTube. The film, which is a report on the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shoot, follows two men who try to kill a cartoonist but are trapped in a nightmare. Hawkins Muffin shares a few central ideas with that film.

Something in both films has a house where a strange force works. The story moves on when outsiders enter. A spiritual counselor is involved, and there is a chase in the woods. There is an attempt to create audio-visual dissatisfaction by using odd cinematography options such as anachronistic music, editing jumps and super 8mm filters. Kalesh starts his films with high quotes and dedicates them to the masters.

Hawkins Muffin begins with a commitment to Georges Mellis, Andrei Tarkovsky, George Miller and Hayao Miyazaki. I also saw elements of the four directorial works in The Hawks Muffin, perhaps because Kalesh dropped their names and I tried to think of how they were connected. The theme of Kalesh in these films is the triumph of the human spirit against caring, power hysteria and reactionary forces, which is okay, but I am not a big fan of his filmmaking. I would love to see a film with some half-hearted comments that the director does not think is stumbling in the dark.

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The main property of the Hawks Muffin is its production values. I think the biggest user of this product is visual effects artist Tawfiq Hussain, who gives a weird feel to the film with his supernatural creatures, Chinook helicopters and giant machines drilling into the earth. Manesh Madhavan, who shot the 2018 Malayalam thriller Joseph, is doing the cinematography. Kiran Das (Thondimuthalum Triksakshi, Mutton) Author. Nitin Lugos (Diddy, Sandeep Aur Pinky Farrar) is the sound designer. Famous Malayalam composer Bijibal composed the music for the film. Lesson here: Get a great team for your first film.

Hawk Muffin (Propada)

Director: Krishnendu Kalesh

actors: Ketaki Narayan, Rajesh Madhavan, Nitin George, Jayanarayan D, Nina Group

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