C/o Saira Banu review: Inspiring tale showing how far a mother would go for her child

Anu James
C/O Saira Banu, Amala Akkineni, Manju Warrier, C/o Saira Banu review

There would be certain incidents in our life when we get confused and think if we should follow law or do what our heart says is right. For example, can we say that an ambulance driver should not break traffic rules when he attempts to save a life? What if he hits another person while breaking traffic signal? Debatable isn't it, as we cannot decide which one is right, justice or law?

Check: C/o Saira audience review

C/o Saira Banu too goes through such moments in the lives of Saira Banu (Manju Warrier) and Annie John Tharavadi (Amala Akkineni). The movie narrates the story of mother-son duo Saira Banu and Josua Peter, played by Manju and Shane Nigam. Her identity is a bit of a problem here. The history behind how she becomes the mother of Joshua is a pleasant surprise in the family entertainer that I would like to keep under wraps now.

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While Saira is a postwoman, Josua, a law student and an aspiring photographer, who dreams to become like his father, gets selected for a photography course abroad. And, that's when their pleasant life takes a U-turn with certain unexpected events, read a crime. Such unforeseen incidents are always inevitable in movies that show happy relationships, right? Anyway, successful lawyer Annie enters their life and the movie goes on showing how Saira explores all the possible ways to save her son, who is behind the bars.

How she wins the legal battle is the highlight of C/o Saira Banu, and the court drama is sure to engage the audience. But the 'luck factor' we often see in movies is again repeated here in winning the case. But, let's leave that behind as most of us love to see happy endings.

The loopholes in the law and order in our society get highlighted in the movie, showing how influential people can easily get away from legal formalities, and change the law accordingly.

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C/o Saira Banu will eventually show how an ordinary person, who cannot afford a lawyer will prove his innocence.

The movie also takes us through a few hot topics that made big news in Kerala -- from the ban of noodles, Kiss of Love protest, flow of Bengali migrants in the state, and more. Also, about how a few women are influenced by the television serials in Malayalam.

Performance

Most of Manju's projects haven't been impressive since she made her comeback with Malayalam movie How Old Are You as the 'life' in her memorable characters (Kanmadam, Summer In Bethlehem, Kannezuthi Pottum Thottu to name a few) were missing in the latest movies due to overacting or being artificial. But, now, C/o Saira Banu has helped her deliver a natural performance that might take us back to those good old days.

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Manju easily handled the humour moments as well as sentimental scenes in the movie, and her chemistry with Shane deserves a special mention.

The duo certainly makes us feel that they are either close friends or siblings, not mother-son duo. It is evident from the scene when Saira informs Josua's friends about his crush on Arundathi, and in return he tries to tease on her repeated driving test failures.

Meanwhile, from Kismath, Shane has improved a bit more, but a few of his expressions looks uniform. An applause for casting Amala in this movie, as an ethical and respectable lawyer. To be noted, she is not appearing in a cameo role, but full-fledged character Annie, which can be said to be safe in her hands. But the dubbing needed to be more synced.

The character Arundathi looks like a cakewalk for Niranjana Anoop as she delivers a natural performance as a smart girl, who often leads the protests in college. Biju Sopanam is a comic relief in the second half of C/o Saira Banu when he becomes Banu's support during their crisis times.

Technical aspects

With his debut directorial venture, Antony Sony Sebastian proves his talent in film-making and has neatly presented the whole movie. Looking forward to more projects from the director, who caught the attention with Malayalam short film Moonamidam starring RJ Shaan and Rachana Narayanankutty.

RJ Shaan has done a good job with the well-knit screenplay, as most of the doubts I had while watching the movie faded away with the climax sequence. Bipin Chandran has penned the additional screenplay for the movie. Mejjo Josseph's background score and music are spot on, while KS Chithra's Thaniye and Vineeth Sreenivasan-Jyotsna's Hrudayavaathil are the best.

Abdul Rahim's cinematography and Sagar Dass's editing are fair enough without creating moments of boredom. Amala's costumes by Sameera Saneesh are also worth mentioning.

To be noted

Though the movie ends on a good note without forgetting the victim of the crime, how does that climax scene give justice to his lost life? Not blaming the film-makers, but the legal system that only gives importance to evidence in solving a case. No evidence and the case is closed.

Final verdict

Despite having a few downs here and there, C/o Saira Banu has an interesting first half and thrilling second half. It is definitely one of the best movies of Manju after her comeback. Watch this family entertainer to know how far a mother would go for her child.

IBTimes India Rating: 3.5

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