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<i>Classmates</i>: A Return to the Alma Mater

Classmates proves to be a big success of the year as it runs houseful even after one month of its release. The movie has made its sensation all over the Malayali resided areas. Classmates brings a nostalgic feeling to everyone's mind, who had an unforgettable life in the evergreen campuses of Kerala.

The movie starts when the Retired college professor Iyer (Balachandra Menon) and his professor wife (retired) Lakshmi (Shoba Mohan) invite the old Classmates of their dead son Murali (Narein) for a get-together. This reunion after 15 years was a dream of Murali, who had died under mysterious circumstances during his final year.

His old classmates include the Diamond Merchant Sukumaran (Prithvi Raj) from Mumbai, Pious George (Indrajeet) from Dubai, Satheesan Kanjikuzhi (Jayasurya) who is an MLA now, the acclaimed Classical dancer Thara Kurup (Kavya Madhavan) from Bangalore and Razia (Radhika) from her unrevealed hiding place. The reunited friends bear in mind the memory of love affair between Thara and Sukumaran as well as the old rivalry between the SFK leader Sukumaran and DSU leader Satheesan Kanjikuzhi.The get together proves to be fatal at night, when Sukumaran is strangled by the string of a guitar used by Murali.Here the story of Classmates move to fifteen years back to the old campus life to unravel the mystery behind Sukumaran's attempted murder or suicide.

The popular young actors of Malayalam are at the summit of their performance in Classmates.Prthvi Raj internalized the mannerisms and body language of a SFI activist whom you could find in any college in Kerala during 90s. Jayasurya brings to mind the political leaders in college who will be everywhere to assert their votes. Indrajeet is a pleasant surprise while reliving the Romeo part, which was an inevitable part of the old campus life in Kerala. Narein's performance as a peacemaker of the college is up to the mark. Kavya Madhavan is in her usual mode of performance while acting the aggressive and smart college girl. Newcomer Radhika makes her performance felt as a shy and pretty Muslim girl as well as in the climax role.

Classmates proves that having a good script is the essential backbone for any film. Scriptwriter James Albert deserves a real applause for bringing in an excellent script that has long waited by Keralites. Director Lal Jose proves his credentials with Classmates. Nobody can escape from the nostalgic feeling while watching the ongoing college strike and subsequent slogans, the silent love affairs in the library, the election campaigns that make campus different from usual days, the college art festival and the innocent fight between classmates. Lal Jose has added directorial innovation to the script and the result is an excellently woven film.

Rajiv Ravi's camera picks up moments fraught with the spirit of college life. The green campuses at Kerala and the shaded college corridors that cool your mind and body have taken their life through his camera. Composer Alex Paul made the songs of Classmates melodious with the popular tones of 90s.Vayalar Chandravarma's lyrics will transport the old classmates to the 90s campus life in Kerala. The song " Ente Khalbile" sung by Vineeth Srinivasan and Sujata has achieved an amazing popularity. This song stirs a sweet pain in minds that have loved and lost in the campus life. The song "Kattadi Thanalum" sung by Vidhu Prathap, Reju Joseph, Ramesh Babu and Cicily plays on the feelings of nostalgia of grown-up college students. The song "Kathirunna" captures the chemistry of campus love. The lyrics and music blend with the situation in the film.

There were many movies based on the campus life in Kerala. But none of them will reach upto the heart of its spectators as Classmates does. Producers Muraleedharan and Prakash Harikrishnan must be proud for presenting this wonderful movie to Malayalam film industry. A Telugu filmmaker for a very high price buys this film. This film will be remade in Telugu with newcomers in the lead roles. Classmates has shown that you do not need superstars to make an excellent and entertaining movie. Classmates is an eminently watchable movie, preferably with your old class mates or friends for a return to your Alma Mater.

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