IB Times rating: 3.5
Malayalam cinema has been gifted with yet another remarkable movie in the form of "Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi". The Anil Radhakirshnan directorial has managed to live up to the expectations and hype that was created around its curious title and theme.
Environmental protection is a hardly touched topic in Malayalam cinema, which is known for socially relevant movies. Malayalis often tend to ignore the Western Ghats, which is their lifeline. "Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi" is capable of changing the way Keralites look at environmental issues.
The plot of "LL7K" is nothing much different from that of James Cameron's "Avatar" (2009). Just like Jake Sully of the epic sci-fi movie gangs up with the aliens to protect their planet from human invaders, Philipose John Varkey (Kunchacko Boban) teams up with tribal villagers of 7000 Kandi to protect the forest and ward off corporate encroachers.
As the makers had indicated, there is no protagonist in "Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi" and all the characters are given equal importance. The director has woven the story in such a way that the forest and the village within have every right to become protagonists, while the greedy corporate world is the obvious villain.
All the eight major actors have done justice to their characters and have presented them flawlessly. Kunchacko Boban's has managed to delve into his "Man vs Wild" survivalist character and looks mature in his salt n' pepper avatar.
Reenu Mathews, whose earlier characters were overshadowed by the superstars playing the leads, has also used the opportunity to perform well in the pivotal character. Sudheer Karamana, Chemban Vinod and Jacob Gregory have seasoned the movie with subtle humour, while Nedumudi Venu, Bharat and Sunny Wayne add more gravity to the film.
One of the major factors that put "Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi" aside is the costume design by Stephy Xavior. Be it the outfits of the eight key characters or that of the tribal villagers, all the costumes stood apart. Though the costumes worn by the villagers may look all the same at first sight, a much closer look will emphasise the difference in details and accessories.
The highlight of "LL7K" is the visual effects handled by Varun Krishnan and Dileep Varma, who had earlier worked in Oscar-winning film "Life of Pi". Cinematography by Jayesh Nair is what makes the movie interesting and steers the story forward somehow during the long journey to 7000 Kandi village.
Do not expect a thriller when you watch "LL7K"... There is no wonder waiting for you after the interval and there is no suspense waiting for you during the climax... Do not expect an out-and-out gory battle between the good and the evil... Watch it for the visual treat that it provides... enjoy the lush green forests and the quest to reach 7000 Kandi...
Verdict: You will feel sorry if you don't watch "Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi" in theatres.