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'Tropical Malady' explores the passionate relationship between two men with unusual consequences. The film is divided in two parts. The first half charts the modest attraction between two men in the sunny, relaxing countryside and the second half charts the confusion and terror of an unknown menace lurking deep within the jungle shadows. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I agree that the film is a little disjointed - things like the very long karaoke scene (what an awful song) I found tedious and unnecessary, but rationalised to myself that the director was trying to create a lighthearted, falling-in-love-and-life-is-so-sweet kind of atmosphere - something I think was done more successfully in the scenes of the couple at the movies, in the forest, etc. This almost lulls you into a false sense of security, though the temple scene foreshadows the dramatic shift in mood that comes with the latter part of the film. The jungle scenes are powerfully spellbinding, both visually and aurally, with their long spells of darkness and almost complete absence of dialogue and they, I believe, make up for any inconsistencies in the earlier part of the film. I saw this in the afternoon, and emerged from the darkness of the cinema and the jungle feeling absolutely intoxicated. I will never forget the tiger's face in the darkness - psychedelic and haunting.
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