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The Goat Life movie poster

The Goat Life (Aadujeevitham) Movie Review

Malayalam

Drama
Adventure

28 Mar 2024

Rating

8.7/10

User Rating

4.3/5

Rate this Movie

Rating

8.7/10

User Rating

4.3/5

Rate this Movie

Aadujeevitham Movie Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran sets a new career high in Blessy’s survival-thriller The Goat Life

Planning to watch Prithviraj Sukumaran’s latest survival thriller flick, Aadujeevitham (aka The Goat Life) in theaters? Read Pinkvilla’s review of the survival flick for insights!

Updated on Mar 29, 2024   |  02:05 AM IST  |  586.3K
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Aadujeevitham Movie Review: Prithviraj’s The Goat Life sets new high in the survival genre

Aadujeevitham Movie Review: Prithviraj Sukumaran sets a new career high in Blessy’s survival-thriller The Goat Life (PC. Prithviraj Sukumaran X)

Name: The Goat Life

Director: Blessy

Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran,Amala Paul

Rating: 4

Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer Aadujeevitham (also known as The Goat Life), has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. The film, which began its pre-production over a decade and a half ago in 2009, finally hit the silver screens on March 28, 2024. The film features an ensemble cast including Amala Paul, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Talib Al Balushi, KR Gokul, and many more in key roles. 

Needless to say, the hype surrounding the film has been surreal, with the fans’ eagerness only increasing as each second passes. The reviews that celebrities like Kamal Haasan, Prabhas, and Mani Ratnam gave only added to the existing hype. But does the film really live up to the hype? Is it really worth the 16-year wait? Let’s discuss it!

The Plot of Aadujeevitham

Aadujeevitham is based on a book by the same name, written by Benyamin in 2008. The book in itself is the retelling of real-life incidents that took place in the former half of the 1990s. The film follows the tale of a laborer from Kerala, named Najeeb (Prithviraj Sukumaran), who leaves his eight-month pregnant wife, Sainu (Amala Paul), and travels to Saudi Arabia in search of jobs, to ensure a better life for his family. However, when he reaches the country, he is taken to the middle of the desert by his sponsor, Khafeel, who forces him into slavery as a goat herder. 

Over time, Najeeb’s life falls into a routine, where even the slightest mistake is met with lashes and stomps. The living conditions are meager, with kuboos being the only food that he received, with nothing but water to wash it down. Slowly, the line between Najeeb’s life and the life of the goats he herds blurs, with the protagonist being a part of the herd himself. Najeeb’s poignant life in the desert, how he escapes the clutches of his Arab enslaver and finds his way back home forms the crux of the story.

What works in Aadujeevitham

Aadujeevitham hits it out of the ballpark with the technical aspects of the film. Starting with the cinematography, done by Sunil KS, each frame is nothing short of a painting and conveys the poignancy and the painstaking journey of Najeeb. The vibrant colors used in the film, with one particular color dominating, depending on the character’s mood, add to the overall visual spectacle of Aadujeevitham.

The editing by A Sreekar Prasad deserves a special mention as well with each cut, and each transition helping to draw a parallel between what Najeeb’s life is now, and what it used to be; how he went from someone who practically resides in water in Kerala, to someone who is beaten up for touching water. The editing to a large extent helps communicate the painstaking journey of the protagonist. 

Next in line would be the music by AR Rahman and the sound design by Resul Pookutty. The two complement each other, with neither the sound nor the score overshadowing the other. The music imbibes the melancholy in Najeeb’s life to the audience, while at the same time, carrying an aura of divinity, something that helped the protagonist carry on through circumstances that were nothing short of hell. The sound design, as mentioned, complements this, bringing the character closer to the audience’s hearts. 

The art design by Ayoub Al Nahhas and Sethu Sivanandan, the VFX by Vishal Tom Phillip, the make-up department, and every other department deserve a special mention as well, with every single back-end worker ensuring that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. 

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the direction by Blessy. The filmmaker is known for his interest in human nature, and psychological aspects in films, and has nailed it yet again with Aadujeevitham. The conviction and the belief that the filmmaker had in the film and his vision are clearly visible in every single frame of the film.

Check out the trailer below:

What does not work in Aadujeevitham

One would have to nitpick to find faults in a film like Aadujeevitham. However, for someone who has read the novel by Benyamin as well, it is possible they may find the film to be a bit rushed. One major incident from the book is immediately followed by the next in the film, which gives a sense of a time jump. This also means that the extent of cruelty of the Arab in the novel has not been translated onto the silver screen. 

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be correct to measure the quality of the film, with the similarity it has to the novel. In fact, the makers of the film have mentioned at the very beginning that the film is an adaptation of the novel, with minute details being changed to match the visual medium. That being said, it is also equally important to mention that the film has covered all important aspects of the book, and more so done justice to the novel as a whole.

Performances in Aadujeevitham

It would not be far-fetched to mention that Aadujeevitham is Prithviraj Sukumaran’s career-best performance. The body transformation of the actor, as well as the mental and emotional turmoil, has been wonderfully portrayed by the actor and is sure to make the audience weep at his condition.

Amala Paul’s performance as Sainu stands out as well. The filmmaker had added more to Sainu than what was mentioned in the role, however, it blends in seamlessly and does not feel out of place at all.

KR Gokul’s performance as Hakeem, Jimmy Jean-Louis as Ibrahim Qadri, and Talib Al Balushi’s role as the Khafeel deserve a special mention as well, bringing their respective roles to life. There is one particular sequence of KR Gokul where the actor stands out, bringing tears to the audience’s eyes. 

Final verdict of Aadujeevitham

Aadujeevitham is a technically sound film with each aspect blending in with the other seamlessly. The exceptional cinematography, and sound quality, as well as the performances by Prithviraj, Amala Paul, and KR Gokul, demand and deserve a theater watch. As mentioned, the film turns a new leaf and sets a new high to the survival thriller genre, and possibly Malayalam cinema as a whole.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate in Economics, with heart made of cinema, Devasankar is vividly in love with world cinema! A true believer of the phrase cinema has no bo...

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Credits: Pinkvilla

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