If I had to choose among the present crop of directors who has quite an audience in film festivals both within & outside our nation, then I would have to take the name of Shyamaprasad. Though I have to admit, I am not a hard core fan of his films coz I do find it quite dragging at times but there is no denying the fact that the topics that he discusses are quite varied unlike the normal cliches. The latest to hit the screens from his stable is "Artist". Wonder what he has cooked this time around???
The films unfolds with Gayathri (Ann Augustine) requesting her gifted yet eccentric artist & live in partner Michael Agnelo (Fahad Fasil) to attend a meeting regarding his job in an art firm. But this meeting never takes place as Michael fails to honour his appointment & meets with an accident which renders him blind. Gayathri was barely out of her teens & pursing Fine Arts when she falls for her charismatic senior in college, Micheal. Being the free spirit & eccentric nature that he is, Micheal preferred having a no holds barred relation with Gayathri which eventually led to them dropping out of college & living together much to the dismay of her Brahmin parents. However, tough times lay ahead for her as Micheal was self centric & aloof of the hardships that she was going through to ensure that his painting proceeded without fail. So how was she going to cope with his insensitive nature which became all the more difficult after his accident???
Since both Shyamaprasad & Fahad Fasil are returning from disasters like "English" & "Olipporu" respectively, I was kinda circumspect as to how their present venture will pan out. However, after watching this I do have to admit I was pleasantly surprised as it was much pacier than other Shyamaprasad films. Based on Paritosh Uttam's novel "Dreams in Prussian Blue", the script seemed quite engaging albeit a tame climax. The character sketch was the strong point of the film & Shyamaprasad has done an impressive job with that. Bijibal's music was average while Shamdath's visuals seemed fine.
Fahad Fasil was absolutely brilliant as the eccentric & self centred artist, re-iterating that he is indeed one of the best in the industry. Thanks to the strong character of Gayathri, Ann Augustine finally got a chance to exhibit her acting skills & she has done justice to a large extent. There are quite a couple of scenes where she was fantastic while at times, she bordered on being average. In addition, Sreeram Ramchandran as Tony also deserves praise on a job well done.
Verdict: It is unlikely to have a rollicking run at the theatres as it is bound to be unpalatable for quite a few. However, personally speaking I found it much more engaging & pacier than usual Shyamaprasad offerings, not to forget the brilliant performance of Fahad. In short, do give it a try!!!