Kerala

Predictability mars a decent attempt

Anoop Sathyan treads the beaten path

Conservatism is a value one often associates with the elder ones. When the roles reverse, as it happens in Anoop Sathyan’s debut film Varane Aavashyamundu, one is left perplexed.

Here is single mother Neena (Shobhana) who lives her life freely, and does not meddle in her daughter Nikitha’s (Kalyani Priyadarshan) life.

The daughter is dying to get married, but she has decided that she would go in for an arranged marriage only, with the help of matrimonial portals, unlike her mother who is still a romantic at heart. Later, when she suspects her mother of being involved in a relationship with neighbour Major Unnikrishnan (Suresh Gopi), she raises a hue and cry. In fact, she is not the only ‘new generation’ kid in the movie who cannot stand breaking traditions. The mothers in both cases are independent, while the kids perplexingly often stand for regressive values.

But in his debut film Anoop Sathyan follows his father Sathyan Anthikkad’s footsteps, with just a change in the setting from rural to an urban milieu, telling a story of human bonds, with some preaching thrown in at the end. At the centre of the movie is the mother-daughter bond and how the entry into their lives of a retired armyman changes the equation. Dulquer Salman’s role can almost be called an extended cameo.

Touted as the comeback film of Suresh Gopi and Shobhana, the script depends on references to their characters from yesteryear films, to paper over the thin content. So, the script is filled with everything from the Commissioner theme music to Manichithrathazhu references and the song Vaisakhasandhye.... Nothing sells like nostalgia. There are a few phases where the film is engaging, like when the Major in trying to overcome his difficulty in socialising, takes the help of a psychiatrist, played humorously by Johny Antony.

All four of the central characters have a sob story to share, which gives one the feeling of this being an artificial package. The typical inspiring speech by a character towards the end and two characters having breakups in quick succession so that they both can fall in love, completes this feeling. One can fairly predict how these relationships will pan out in the end, quite early in the film. Suresh Gopi gets a character with some scope for performance after a long time, but Shobana’s character is limited in scope. With a thin storyline and familiar tropes, Varane Aavashyamundu just manages to stay afloat by being engaging in parts.

S.R. Praveen

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 2:56:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/predictability-mars-a-decent-attempt/article30786511.ece

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