Directed by Anil Kizhakkadath
If you ask how it’s been watching Surma? The simple answer would be ‘A tale of selfless love beyond boundaries’. But I wouldn’t belittle the essence of this film with phrases like beyond boundaries as it is a love story that knows no bound of international border, religion and social stigma.
Set in the background of parched Kuwait, we see Suruma played by (Surya Sree) busy rearing her herd of goats in the opening scene of this short eternal love story. From this scene, we understand that the herd is her only source of bread and butter. In this short film written and directed by Anil Kizhakkadath, we are going to witness an undying romantic tale of two souls who are poor not by heart and dare to live through the perks and perils of an unpredictable life journey.
If the innocent face of Surma has not melted your emotions yet, get ready to dive into the next scene where we see an ailing man lying on a bed in a poverty-ridden set up which is most probably their present temporary abode. We see Surma and the man sharing some sweet banter with the man recalling their first meet that he describes being the best thing ever happened to him. Here the director takes us back to the past where we see this man in his healthy state rescuing a fainted Surma from a scorching desert and brings back her senses in his home.
Coming back to their present conversation that was continuing before the time loop, we come to know from Surma where she states her fear of uncertainty when they will be separated. Both Surma and the man are engaged in an emotional chat which discloses his blindness and sufferings from hypertension and diabetes. Here is a moment when the man asks Surma to make him tea with the same old taste, we see her gladly making and giving it to him and asking how much he loves her? To which he replied more than he loves his herd of goats and we see an empty pitcher panning away showing their parched love story which might remain an unfinished chapter.
Amidst their beautiful exchange of memories which is also this movie’s storyline, we heard a sudden knock on the door and soon we felt that their separation is near. Thankfully the director here narrates the story of their obvious detachment from the conversation between two men conversation outside their hut when we are shocked to know the leads are staying together under the same roof without marriage. Shocked yes, especially in the Middle East where the clutches of social norms are far and wide. But the reason behind their detachment is not marriage but the health of ailing Abu (the love of Surma) who will be deported back to his own country India as he is unable to work anymore.
Through all their conversation till the end, the only dialogue that will make you smile and cry is every time when Abu calling out Surma? And she answering back ‘Oh’ shows her constant support and undying love for him even knowing that their uncertain fate. The story depicts Surma as a young woman from Pakistan who was sent to the Middle East to serve the rich but fled out of fear and finally meeting and falling in love with Abu, who made her comfortable and loved.
While describing so many crucial details of this movie, how can I skip the lyrics penned by Vinu KV and the soulful background score that perfectly complements the strong presence and expression of the lead actors? The music has done half the job of convincing the audience to stick till the end and to watch how the lovers are weaving their fateful tale.
Quite a heart-wrenching presentation of romance where we realize that though Abu is being unwillingly ported back to India, Surma has no other option to survive without Abu. Somewhere till the end, I felt the director is either hinting at an unfinished tale or is indicating an unfortunate end. This movie deserves a 4/5 for beautifully depicting a story of love beyond every boundary.