The level of humanity in the nuanced and rooted story of Sudani from Nigeria is extremely heartening. Debutant Zakariya’s movie set in the backdrop of sevens football tournaments in Malappuram is ultimately a tale about compassion. Pepped up by natural humor and sensible sentiments, Sudani from Nigeria is definitely above the feel good mark.Majeed is the manager of the sevens football club MYC and his team has players from Africa. One of them is Samuel and he is the star player of the team. One fine day, an unfortunate accident happens to Samuel which leads to a medical condition that demanded bed rest for Samuel. Poor Majeed who was already in a financially tough spot, decides to take up this financial burden and the movie shows us the repercussions around that decision. Muhsin Parari, the director of KL 10 Patthu is a co writer of the movie and much like KL 10 Patthu we can see a very honest depiction of the actual Malappuram.
The script shapes the characters strongly and within its 123 minutes of run time it manages to establish those characters firmly. It might look like a movie about football, but football is just a tool or a backdrop here to convey a very humane story. Almost 3/4th of this movie is dealt with human emotions. The fading language barrier and the understanding of pain are shown in a very moving way. Ultimately the movie has a global outlook by making us realize about the harsh stories of a lot of people who are really far away from here.Zakariya’s biggest tool in my opinion was the spot on casting. He uses his craft to place situations realistically. Whenever a government official is shown in the movie asking for the papers related to Samuel, there are no terrifying background scores to make us uncomfortable or predict something bad. The intention of the script is ultimately to show the relevance of compassion over money. The script manages to create a lot of character equations within the story and the most pleasing and interesting one was the bond between Majeed’s mother and Samuel. The film has clarity in its politics and even through small comedy bits or certain dialogues soaked in humor, it makes its feministic statement with ease. Shyju Khalid gives authenticity to the frames and that very last frame was one of the most memorable I have seen in recent times. Music was really good and the background music was perfectly minimal.
Soubin has shown us that he is capable of doing serious characters and this one is in fact the first one in which we see him in that shade for an entire film. Obviously the humor in the movie needs him, but it’s those other scenes which look at the minimalism in expression and mannerism in body language that makes his performance worth appreciating. The passion he exerts as a football club manages is also appreciable. Samuel Abiola Robinson is also effective in his role as the Sudani. His earnest portrayal adds life to the story. Savithri Sreedharan as Majeed’s mother and Sarasa Balussery as her friend Beeyumma are two solid performers of this movie. While the first won my heart by being that extremely caring mother, the second person’s irreverence level in comedy was hilarious. Lukman Lukku, Navas Vallikkunnu, Abhiram Pothuval, KTC Abdulla, Aneesh G Menon etc. are the other actors who added authenticity to the tale.Sudani from Nigeria is a frequently hilarious movie with a layered story that ultimately speaks about the value of empathy. You might have a bit skepticism about how exactly the legal complications got resolved quickly, but that climax scene at the airport bowled me over.