101 Chodyangal ‘101 Questions’ Malayalam Movie Review

101-ChodyangalA kid living through the course of asking 101 questions will be much different from a kid who lives the same time without asking any question….The kid with questions sees a much clearer world than the other…

This weekend I saw this movie that I don’t think had played in our bay area theaters…. probably it did not have a big budget media push…. May be because there are more movies released in Malayalam now that for the NRI malayali crowd not all movies release in the theatre… I picked it up on DVD…

This is a very moving piece of art…. with a very interesting outlook at education and growing up through the eyes of a child….. Made by the debutant director Sidhartha Siva the movie also stars Indrajith in the lead role…

The theme of the movie is the world of a kid who has to come up with 101 different questions as part of an assignment sort of that the teacher gives him so he could earn some money, Rupees 1 per question…. The kid’s dad is unemployed and going through the hardships in life… and this was also a reason for him to take up the assignment…. but the assignment helps him see the world much differently than others

Why is this movie important…?
Questions are the fundamental building blocks of a kid as he or she grows up… questions that come in his mind, questions that life poses at him, questions that he does not know answers for…

poster-101chodyangal-03Our education system and educators are not always supportive of questions… the pressure to complete the syllabus within a year, the inadequate funds in public schools and the lack of motivation and surroundings make questions a burden and time waste for many in the education system… and that is a big error…. especially when the media now gives answers and hypothesis before the questions can arise in the mind….
Most people not just kids are not asking questions but consuming information irrespective of whether they need it or not….

When I was growing up, as part of kid’s wing of the Kerala Science and Literary Movement “Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad”, we were taught a song “enthukondenthukondenthukondu….” which can be in a way translated to as “Why? Why? Why?…”. It was an interesting song that questions the world around us… a song made of questions that arise or should arise in any kid’s inquisitive mind….

This movie for me appeared like a visual background score for that song…. It is not the answers but the questions that help you in changing…. there are questions we know answers for, there are questions we are still trying to find answers for and there are questions we think we have answers for until we are proven wrong and only when we question can we accept the truth and we could be proven wrong…..

Answers can be wrong… but questions can never be…. In an education environment where we are gauged for the number of correct answers we have, we often miss the importance of questions in our life…

I thank Sidhartha for making this movie and Indrajith one of the fine actors in Malayalam cinema for taking up that role….. I would recommend both Malayalis and foreign movie lovers to watch this movie…. though I have to say that the movie is a bit on the slower side of things… but I loved it for what it brings up to the viewer

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