Sufiyum Sujatayum is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.
Sufiyum Sujatayum movie cast: Aditi Rao Hydari, Dev Mohan, Jayasurya
Sufiyum Sujatayum movie director: Naranipuzha Shanavas
Sufiyum Sujatayum movie rating: Two stars
Beautiful young Sujatha falls in love with a sufi saint: ergo, Sufiyum Sujatayum. In these days when just the whisper of an inter-religious marriage can cause havoc and visit the wrath of disapproving guardians and moral police upon the lovers, a film which gives us a Hindu-Muslim pair needs to be celebrated. Sadly, the film doesn’t live up to its premise.
The call of the ‘azaan’, through the mellifluous voice of Sufi (yes, the sufi saint is called Sufi: talk of stating the obvious) is so hypnotic that Sujatha, who can hear but not speak, is entranced. First-timer Dev Mohan and Aditi Rao Hydari make a winsome pair, him in his full beard and colourful head-gear and soulful gaze, and her so ethereal.
There was potential here. In the way the third party to this romance, the Dubai-based Raveendran (Jayasurya) is unwillingly thrust into the mix, and his uneasy relationship with Sujatha. In the way the head of the sufi sect calls out the pig-headedness of the girl’s father, saying ‘religion is a personal thing’ when the former issues a threat. ‘Don’t start a love jihad’, he says.
This element of ‘love jihad’, an overused, misused term, which should never have been used in conjunction, if dealt with in detail, could have made this a solid film. But it’s almost like a throwaway phrase, and almost two hours are spent on a scantily-written plot which wastes too much time on the star-crossed lovers exchanging looks and notes without saying much. It doesn’t help that the lovely Hydari doesn’t really fill her part. For someone who doesn’t have spoken dialogue, the body language needs to be strong: Hydari has a few nice moments, but she is limited in the rest of it.
The men fare better, and the music soars in parts. But for a film which is trying to say something so significant, something which bears repeating in these polarised times, it needed to have been much better.