There is this scene I love in Summer in Bethlehem. Manju Warrier goes in front of a mirror , looks at herself for a while and then wipes her tears .She tries to smile slowly and then switches her mood just like that as her grandparents wanted her to. Manju Warrier is such a fabulous actress, one of our finest ever, that she made that transformation looked so easy. On her return after the 15 year gap though , there has been a feeling that the actress hasn’t raised upto her full potential with the exception of How Old Are You. C/O Saira Banu changes that, big time.
“How far would a mother go for her child” is the central theme of C/O Saira Banu. Manju Warrier plays Saira Banu, a postwoman and a single mother of a college kid with aplomb. She shares great chemistry with Shane Nigam who plays her son as their bond looks so original on screen. She is really hilarious at many places, the best being the reaction when she learns that the girl on whom Shane has a crush doesn’t watch TV serials. She is equally good in the emotional scenes. The one where she breaks down hearing that Shane has to leave the country does tug at our hearts.
Shane Nigam has improved a lot from Kismat and portrays a character whom we completely empathize with. Amala looks rusty at the beginning and her dubbing voice doesn’t suit her. But she does really pick up towards the second half and climax. Its pleasing to see Mejo Joseph who did the iconic theme music for Traffic back after a while . His background score for the court scenes does add a lot to the thrills. Songs are beautiful too with ‘Thaniye’ being the pick. Mohanlal’s voice-over though brief does enhance the impact in a really good scene.
The movie’s best aspect though is a very well knit screenplay. Kudos to the writers as there is not a single scene or situation or even the professions of characters that go wasted as each and every one of them is cleverly connected to another sequence later. Even a kiss of love scene that is shown at the beginning might appear first as just an attempt to show something relevant today. But later you see it has a connection to the story. Don’t want to leave further spoilers by giving out much. Antony Sony makes a pretty decent debut as a director. There are few scenes which you feel might turn too melodramatic , but he pulls them together very quickly. The movie is well edited too.
C/O Saira Banu has few minor flaws but could be ignored as the movie has a very good story to tell at the end. It has a message to parents. It reminds us why nothing else can beat or come close to a mother’s love for her child. If none of these is enough , there is Manju Warrier who returns to form in grand style. That alone makes C/O Saira Banu worth your time.