Since many years, Gulf has been the preferred work destination for the Malayalis. Though that trend is slowly changing, there is still a huge population making their livelihood there. It goes without saying that the general impression of the public regarding those working there is that they are minting money & enjoying a posh lifestyle. In recent times, there has been various articles regarding the hardships that such people face there. Interestingly, Kamal known for his movies focusing on youth; has this time around taken up a subject dealing with this very issue titled "Khaddama" which means housemaid in Arabic. Giving life to such a character is none other than Kavya Madhavan, who herself was in Gulf before a failed relationship brought her back to celluloid again.
The film unfolds with Ashwathy (Kavya) sitting in the lounge of Riyadh airport. Within the first few minutes the audience is introduced to the fact that she had come with hopes of supporting her family behest with financial problems by working as a Khaddama. As the story goes forward, she is found to undergo various tortures which eventually makes her contemplate to escape from that misery. But will she escape from that Arabian household & if so, who will help her in this desert nation to get back to her folks???
As evidenced previously,this is a true account of events & Kamal has succeeded in bringing out the rawness of the situation onto the screen. There is a no doubt that a good script as this requires an equally competent actress & Kavya has more than fitted the bill. She has definitely one of the most expressive eyes & a sense of vulnerability which was absolutely essential for the role. It was more or less along the lines of "Perumazhakalam" which incidentally was also a movie by Kamal, for which she had won a State Award. Srinivasan as Razek, a social activist was spot on with his performance along with an equally impressive act by Murali as Basheer who was seen earlier in "Bharamaram" & debutant Shine Tom as the shepherd. Suraj as Usman provides the few light moments & executed his role impressively.
The essence of this true story has been derived from an article by Saudi based journalist K.U Iqbal. Kamal adapted this onto the silver screen with the help of K.Gireesh Kumar who has already proved his worth courtesy "Veruthe Oru Bharya" & "Kana Kannmani".The background score was in sync with the mood & kudos to Jayachandran for that while the music by Bennet Veetrag was impressive especially "Vidhuramee" rendered by Shreya Ghoshal & Hariharan. Another aspect which captured my fancy were the desert visuals by Manoj Pillai.
Verdict: The movie is definitely going to make headlines in all the Award festivals & rightly so, as Kamal has delivered a hard hitting realistic film. Kavya's performance is praise worthy, though I don't deem it outstanding.Anywaz as far as my opinion goes, its an impressive effort & worth a watch. But if your intention is to have some relaxation,then this isnt your choice!!!