‘Ayalvaashi’ movie review: Soubin Shahir and Nikhila Vimal’s comedy-drama is marred by a thin plot and listless execution

The most creative part of the Soubin Shahir starrer is its witty title, something the film does not live up to

April 21, 2023 04:51 pm | Updated April 24, 2023 01:15 am IST

A still from ‘Ayalvaashi’

A still from ‘Ayalvaashi’

One of the memories for many from creative writing classes would be the time they were required to weave together long pieces around an idea that is not worth even a paragraph. The screenplay of ‘Ayalvaashi’ seems to be the result of one such creative writing exercise where the prompt was to write a script on the misunderstandings caused by scratches on a scooter.

Well, we have had supremely engaging movies based on even more seemingly insignificant themes, but here, the lazy, listless execution ensures that even less than two hours of runtime feels like an eternity. Cracks begin to appear in the friendship between neighbours Thajudeen (Soubin Shahir) and Benny (Binu Pappu) after Benny suspects Thaju of having caused scratches on his scooter, due to which a deal to sell the scooter falls through. An innocent Thaju, hurt at being wrongly accused, vows to find the person who actually caused the scratch that dented their friendship and caused quite a few problems for him in his family.

Ayalvaashi (Malayalam)
Direction: Irshad Parari
Cast: Soubin Shahir, Binu Pappu, Nikhila Vimal, Lijomol Jose, Naslen
Duration: 107 minutes
Storyline: Cracks develop between two neighbours after one of them suspects the other of scratching his scooter resulting in a business deal falling through. Hurt at the accusation, the other vows to find the real culprit.

Irshad Parari, in his debut directorial, attempts to tell a rather simple story of how small misunderstandings between humans often blow out of proportion and remain as festering wounds for a long time. In the world that he creates, almost every person looks like a kind-hearted soul harbouring evil intentions.

The domino effect of misunderstandings from the time Benny attempts to sell his scooter, leading to rifts within two families and the uncertainty over a wedding, might have looked good on paper. But when it gets translated to the screen, none of the humour or emotions land as intended.

For that matter, even Naslen, who has the ability to enliven the proceedings every time he appears on screen, appears as a dull version of himself.

Almost half an hour is spent on Thajudeen and his sidekick Gokulan making the rounds of all the vehicle accessory shops in town to find out the person who caused the scratch and purchased a sticker to hide it. A specially choreographed ‘Chewing Gum song’, which looked more like a promotional song, adds to the drag. Not to forget, the pointless, old-fashioned narration by Gokulan that fails to convey much.

Benny’s fear of his mother, which prevents him from patching things up with his wife Seleena (Nikhila Vimal), could have made for an interesting sidetrack, but even that fizzles out. One of the rare moving sequences in the entire film happens when Thajudeen breaks down in front of his wife (Lijomol Jose), at being unfairly blamed for all that has gone wrong in her family.

The most creative part of Ayalvaashi appears to be its clever title, to which the film does not live up to.

Ayalvaashi is currently running in theatres

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