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My streaming gem: why you should watch Kumbalangi Nights

My streaming gem: why you should watch Kumbalangi Nights thumbnail

Continuing our series of writers recommending hidden gems is a shoutout for a thoughtful Malayalam-language drama with a twist

One of 2019’s biggest Malayalam hits, Kumbalangi Nights provides a superior example of one of those lay-of-the-land movies that troubles to build a world and properly study its characters before foisting anything so urgent, vulgar or trifling as a plot upon us. At its centre sit four varyingly useless brothers, stranded without parents on the banks of a river winding through the titular Keralan tourist hotspot. The two oldest are introduced at one another’s throats, where they’ve apparently been for most of their lives: these are Saji (Soubin Shahir), a sentimental, oft-shirtless bruiser, and Bobby (Shane Nigam), a mop-topped slacker who’s renounced weed on the grounds it “makes you think, and I am not the thinking type”, a self-insight he goes on to prove with his clumsy pawing of sweetheart Baby (Anna Ben).

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