‘Aavesham’ movie review: Fahadh Faasil’s uninhibited act carries this thinly-plotted film

‘Romancham’ director Jithu Madhavan returns with his sophomore effort, that is held afloat by Fahadh Faasil running riot in one of his most colourful characters

April 12, 2024 08:28 am | Updated 10:41 am IST

A still from ‘Aavesham’ 

A still from ‘Aavesham’ 

The most tense moment in Aavesham is placed not during one of the numerous fights, but bang in the middle of a game of dumb charades. The game takes place in the lair of Rangan (Fahadh Faasil), a colourful gangster, stories about whom range from the chillingly realistic to the far-fetched. One of those stories we have heard earlier about him happens to involve a game of dumb charades, which apparently led to a violent burst of anger.

It is a cleverly-crafted scene which makes us question our understanding of that character until then, and ends up reassuring us that we made the right assessment after all, only to upset it again spectacularly a while later. This ambiguity about Rangan is one of the things that filmmaker Jithu Madhavan pulls off successfully in the gangster comedy Aavesham, his sophomore effort after the hit horror comedy Romancham.

Aavesham is a different beast altogether with Fahadh running riot as the gangster adorned in bling, and with a habit of sharing his dance reels. We see Rangan through the eyes of three Malayali students — Aju (Hipster), Bibi (J.S.Mithun) and Shanthan (Roshan Shanavas) — in Bengaluru, who are frequenting seedy bars with the intention of gaining some “local support” to take revenge on their seniors who bashed them up.

Director: Jithu Madhavan
Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Sajin Gopu, J.S.Mithun, Hipster, Roshan Shanavas
Storyline: Three Malayali students in Bengaluru befriend Rangan, a gangster, to take revenge on a gang of seniors who bashed them up, but things do not turn out as planned
Runtime: 158 minutes

The scenes leading up to Rangan’s introduction and the slow reveal of his true stature are a scream. And, to build up on this character, there is Rangan’s sidekick Ambaan (Sajin Gopu) with a wealth of humorous and scary stories on him that he narrates as if he has witnessed them, but one is always left with an element of doubt about their spoofy nature. Rangan is the kind of character that mainstream stars have essayed in the past, but Fahadh gives it a spin of his own and runs uninhibitedly wild with it, like a kid left to his own in the household.

The all-pervading presence of this character and Sushin Shyam’s pulsating score somewhat papers over the film’s many weaknesses, especially in plotting and character development. The interval high was followed by a considerable lull, during which time the film shifts its gaze from unabashed hero worship and turns it into a cautionary tale. Aavesham could have done with some much-needed trimming, although it is still a wonder that they managed to sustain the runtime with so thin a plot.

The youngsters, some of whom are social media stars, as well as Sajin, stand their own amid Fahadh’s one-man show. But no female character, not even a girl from the campus (that gets prominent focus in the film) gets substantial presence. The only memorable one happens to be Bibi’s mother who asks “Are you happy?” to anyone who talks to her on the phone. It also presents to us a rare insight into Rangan’s personality, which is mostly hidden from us owing to the sketchy writing which throws more attention to the flashy exteriors. Well, it is that kind of film, which revels in its loudness and quirkiness and leaves little space for quiet introspection and meaningful connections... things that Rangan also appears to crave for.

Aavesham is currently running in theatres

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