Kalyani Priyadarshan's Sesham Mikeil Fathima is a simple yet loud sports drama that has succeeded in capturing the determination of a woman to follow her dreams in spite of all obstacles
Kalyani Priyadarshan in Sesham Mikeil Fathima | Photo: Instagram/ manuckumar4
Sesham Mikeil Fathima story
Since she was a young child, Fathima has gone by the nickname "chatterbox." She loves football and aspires to become a sports commentator. To reach her goal, she must, however, get past the judgmental remarks about joining a male-dominant profession and the patriarchal stereotypes of how a Muslim woman should behave. Her efforts to persuade her family, society, and the system to give her an opportunity to prove herself forms the rest of the film.
Sesham Mikeil Fathima review
Debutant director Manu C Kumar’s Sesham Mikeil Fathima may not have had much of a rush in theatres because of its female-centric theme and minimal promotion. Nonetheless, it deserves praise for its ability to convey the vitality and soul of a sport that is popular in Kerala, particularly in the Malabar region.
Since childhood, Fathima has been teased about being a "chatterbox" because of her tendency to talk endlessly about trivial things around her. Her father, Muneer, a mechanic and former football player, and brother Asif, who also plays and organises local matches in their small Malappuram town, are the sources of her love for the game. One game completely transforms her life, inspiring her to pursue a new dream of becoming a football commentator.
But things are not as simple as Fathima had anticipated. Aside from overcoming patriarchal stereotypes as a Muslim woman, getting the chance to showcase her talent on a bigger platform and carving out an identity for herself in this male-dominated field pose major challenges.
Sesham Mikeil Fathima is a simple yet loud sports drama that has succeeded in capturing the determination of a woman to follow her dreams in spite of all obstacles. Several patriarchal stereotypes about how Muslim women should behave and focus on ‘settling down’ with a groom of their family's choice that are still prevalent in our society have been exposed by this film. It has also illustrated the difficulties a woman encounters when attempting to pursue a career in an industry that is male-dominated.
Additionally, the filmmakers have skillfully conveyed the passion for football that exists in Malappuram or the Malabar region, reminding viewers of the enthusiasm for the game that is portrayed in Zakariya Mohammed's Sudani from Nigeria. But what really stands out is Fathima's commentary in Malappuram slang, which is entertaining to watch.
Sesham Mikeil Fathima verdict
Kalyani Priyadarshan is the most suitable choice the filmmakers could have chosen to portray such a dynamic and enthusiastic character. She gives the character life and has worked hard enough to deliver the lengthy dialogues in her own voice. Sudani from Nigeria-fame Sarasa Balussery, Sabumon, and Sudheesh have also given impressive performances in supporting roles in this film.
Meanwhile, a few of Sesham Mikeil Fathima's poignant scenes seem out of place. Some emotional ones that were meant to convey a powerful message fall flat. Furthermore, the writers could have maintained the script's precision by eliminating some ineffective subplots, like Solomon Margarete's narrative.
To a certain extent, Sesham Mikeil Fathima has successfully shown a distinct and unexplored aspect of a sports drama in Malayalam. The movie has all the makings of a female-centric narrative, but it might not leave much of a lasting impression on the audience.
Sesham Mikeil Fathima verdict: Sesham Mikeil Fathima is a good watch, but it could have been better with a few poignant emotional scenes and a more concise plot.