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Laughs, harsh realities, and goodness galore! [+78%]
In its run-time of 2 h 4 m, 'Sudani from Nigeria' manages to make viewers laugh, contemplate over certain hard-hitting realities, and reinstates the comforting thought that genuine goodness still exists amongst people in the present era.
The movie talks primarily from the point-of-view of two people: Samuel (Samuel Abiola Robinson), a Nigerian national who comes to India to play for a sevens football team in the Malappuram district of Kerala; and Majeed (the brilliant Soubin Shahir who showcases his versatility in the simplest of ways) the sponsor-manager of said football team featuring a bunch of African players. The story is set in a little town where football is a way of life - the sport is considered a means of entertainment as well as livelihood by many.
Things take a turn for the worse when Samuel falls prey to an unfortunate injury and Majeed is left with no choice but to help him on his road to recovery. The bond they develop is organic and (so) heart-warming that when the curtains eventually come falling, it is difficult not to shed tears of joy. The laughs generated along the way are clean, situational and memorable. In times where we only get to read about vile stuff happening around the world, 'Sudani from Nigeria' comes across as a whiff of fresh air, filled with much-needed positivity.
Writer/Director Zakariya deserves praise for not going overboard when it comes to churning out sentimental scenes although he easily could have. Samuel's story is told in a concise yet impactful flashback - sufficient to convey the idea that life was never easy for him. Soubin pulls off yet another convincing performance; his emoting skills fully put to the test here. It'd be heartless on my part not to mention the rest of the supporting cast as well, mostly unknown faces, who have basically 'lived' their characters - be it Majeed's friends, his loving mother Jameela, the next-door Beeyumma, or his step dad. Never does the viewer feel that these newbies were 'acting', in the conventional sense of it. Kudos to the director for extracting the best out his cast!
While the Malappuram accent was slightly difficult to follow in dialogue-writer Muhsin Parari's 'KL 10 Pathu', it' isn't the case this time around. The one-liners and counters seamlessly tickle the funny bone in scenes aplenty (the police station scene and the one with Nairettan stood out!). Music by Rex Vijayan is refreshing and fits the tone of the film well. Football is certainly an integral aspect of 'Sudani from Nigeria' but it can't be entirely said that it's just a sports movie - it is in fact, a LOT more! Humanity prevails!
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