Critic’s Rating : 4.0 / 5
Ayisha Movie Review : A poignant story of an amazing woman
Review: Ayisha’s tears have more stories to narrate than what is being told on screen. While packing her bags to work as a domestic help in the Middle East, her daughter asks whether she has decided to not ever return. Though she doesn’t give a proper answer to her child, her eyes say it all. Her outlook on life changes as she meets the head mother of the palace where she joins as a gadama (maid).
Aamir Pallikkal’s directorial is a fictionalised version of the story of Nilambur Ayisha, the first woman to act in Malayalam cinema from the Muslim community. The colourful and stylised film reminds one of Iranian films that speak poignantly on survival, optimism and identity. The hopeful drama explores pain, departure, the moments before death, betrayal, and the magical bond between humans that knows no borders.
The well-crafted script by Ashif Kakkodi surpasses audience expectations. It is enhanced by Vishnu Sharma’s cinematography, Appu N Bhatathiri’s editing and M Jayachandran’s music.
Manju Warrier makes Ayisha an unforgettable woman in the minds of the audience. Her performance is one of the best in her second innings. She shares an amazing chemistry with Mona who plays Mama in the movie. Their bond breaks the stereotypical expectations of women characters on screen, especially as mother, romantic partners, sisters and wives. They rely on each other and enjoy each other’s company. All the actors in the movie have done their roles well.
Ayisha is a beautiful, slice of life movie that brings out the struggles of a woman actor who broke all the barriers to chase her dreams. The film is a tribute to actor Nilambur Ayisha that Malayalam cinema can forever cherish.
– Anjana George