On a very basic level, Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi is a low budget wannabe “Avatar”. The idea was to inspire us to fight for the nature. The director may not have succeeded in creating that feel, but from the making perspective, Mr. Menon has really pushed the envelope to create something visually lush in a film that isn’t much publicized for any mega budget. The movie isn’t an offbeat attempt from Anil Radhakrishnan Menon, but this time he seems to be pretty serious about the message he wants to convey.
Philipose John Varkey is our central protagonist; I don’t know the exact name of his job. He wanders like the “Man vs Wild” guy Bear Grylls to unexplored areas and records real nature sounds. Such a journey brought him to 7000 Kandi, a village inside the forest with people without any communication with the outer world. The basic plot of the movie is Varkey’s attempt to save the village and its ancient culture along with the forest from getting destroyed with the help of a few random people he selected from various backgrounds.
Director isn’t that bothered about creating an entertainer this time. Even though discrete moments of humor are there in the film, the aim was to make us familiar with the nature. If the script had that magic to really make us feel from the side of the tribal people they have shown in the film, the climax would have made Goosebumps. But sadly there is a lack of investment in the key area, which is making the viewer and characters connect with the forest. Within the budget they have managed to pull off some gorgeous visuals of the forest along with some quality visual effects.
On screen, with his appearance and usual style of acting Kunchako Boban was a convincing choice for the role of Philpose Varkey. Among the rest of the cast Chemban Vinod Jose and Jacob Gregory gets characters that are slightly different from the usual kind of roles offered to them. Bharath, Sunny Wayne and Reenu Mathews were okay in the less challenging characters. Nedumudi Venu and Sudheer Karamana were really good. The actors in the tribal gang were also nice.
As a maker Anil Radhakrishnan Menon has succeeded in giving grand attire to his film. The various techniques to scare the mining guys, the aerial views of the forest, the real locations, the habitat of the tribal people and the attack against the potential threats etc. had that visual appeal. It was the script that lacked warmth. The backdrops of the different people weren’t used in a completely overwhelming way. As I already said, the time spent by the characters inside the forest looks too small and because of that, their decision to stay back looks less convincing. Cinematography is superb and Rex Vijayan and Sushin Shyam enrich the film with their musical contribution. The art direction was also commendable.
Overall, Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi hasn’t reached the kind of expectation I had from the director. But the film definitely has a certain technical quality which will make you feel that visual magnum opuses are possible in our small industry.