How would you respond if a random stranger walks up to you and tells that she thinks you are beautiful? Would you gracefully accept the compliment, look utterly bemused or reject it entirely? This YouTube video by Malappuram natives Suhail M. Ali and Ameena captures just that.
The video features a lot of beautiful people grinning from ear to ear; so full of smiles that it’s contagious. Apparently, that exactly was the purpose of this social experiment, says Suhail, who has been working as an assistant director in the Malayalam movie industry for the past four years.
Suhail was inspired to do the video after watching Chicago-based Shea Glover’s 2015 school project along similar lines. Glover filmed students and teachers while telling them they that they are beautiful and her YouTube video on the same is still considered pure gold by trend watchers of social media.
But why did Suhail ask his cousin Ameena to take the video when he's not at all a greenhorn in filmmaking? “Well, you know our society. Even a genuinely positive comment directed at a woman won’t be accepted. Most people know they are beautiful. But they just wont like to hear it from a stranger. That’s why I had to ask for my cousin’s help,” he says.
As luck would have it, Ameena, who wielded the camera for Suhail, was a natural although she was handling a DSLR for the first time. “I just directed the whole thing. I told her whom to shoot and acted as her assistant,” says the 28-year-old.
Ask about his video's background score and Suhail becomes a picture of gratitude. “I got a royalty-free soundtrack from Mattia Cupelli (Italian musician),” he says.
Both B.Tech graduates, the cousins captured the many smiles from Lulu Mall, Oberon Mall, Subhash Park and Kottakkunnu (Malappuram).
Suhail has worked as assistant director in nine movies, including Karinkunnam 6s, Su Su Sudhi Vadhmeekam, Zakharia Pothen Jeevichirippund, Jilebi, Fireman and Praise the Lord. The last film he has worked with is Paippin Chuvattile Pranayam, which is all set to hit the theatres in two weeks.