The hype, the star studded cast, the trending music and finally the one name that pulls it all together – writer/director Anjali Menon.
How does the much awaited movie, that’s been on many a young set of lips for the past few weeks, fare when it’s all said and done? Let’s see now…
It’s eventful enough but balanced and well told. Let that be the first notice or hint to you cynical folks out there…
Three cousins – Arjun/Aju (Dulquer), Divya/ Kunju (Nazriya) and Krishnan/Kuttan (Nivin) – who have been bonded at the hip, so to speak, since their childhood days of playing around, all through the adolescent days of mischievous youth to the point where life took them all in separate directions.
Still, they manage to stay close with each other, as revealed in the trailer, though the years molded them in to three very different characters. This ladies and gents, is the introduction…
Now, the whole thing takes off with Divya getting married (‘arranged’ of course) to a rather… ahem, stuck up or stoic but nonetheless good natured young man named Das (Fahadh) and this means the three cousins get together after years to celebrate the wedding – with a song (why not)!
A few short and light hearted events later, they are all settled in Bangalore – a city which, as the title suggests, has been romanticized beyond recognition in the flick (don’t know how to feel about that), and soon they all face three very different courses in life; each with its own problems and an elegant narrative tone which keeps the plot moving.
Let’s stop here before we reach ‘spoilerville’; needless to say there is laughter, tears, music, fun and drama, feel good moments – the works.
Thankfully though, we have no tediously written in, carefully planted, choreographed fight sequences that exist solely to give the hero a testosterone boost- so three cheers to Anjali Menon for that.
And did I mention no sizzle or steam too? Good, clean family fun, people…
Performance and Technical Aspects:
The performances in the movie are stellar, with of course, the rather obvious exception that really doesn’t shock or surprise anyone – the gorgeous Isha Talwar who graciously doesn’t take up too much screen time.
But the rest of the cast have done a magnificent job, so much so that it is obvious that this was the careful choice of the director. No under acting to achieve the ‘cool’ factor or over acting to emphasize the vibrancy of the narrative can be found in the movie.
The characters have been etched out well enough for the actors to play them confidently and in sync with each other. The onscreen chemistries were spot on and no one particular dynamic of characters or relationships holds the viewer’s attention hostage – at least not more than Anjali Menon wanted us to.
The ‘youth brigade’ of big names that starred in the film did their jobs right and the veterans did what was expected of them – though their presence in the story is largely a catalyst and as a contrasting view to better focus on the abundance of young (ish?) energy on camera.
Moving on to the technical aspects…
Kudos to Samir Thahir for wielding the camera with unassuming creativity to back the overall tone of the movie. The camera work is flawless and nontraditional in ways that doesn’t seem too obvious to viewers. This goes well with the rest of the vision that Anjali has.
Eloquent use of slow mo, close ups, different lenses and colorful framing – all in all you never have a ‘dull visual’ moment.
Gopi Sunder’s music, which is a ‘popping’ – fusion oriented – blend of east meets west, seamlessly mixes in with each scene and shot, amplifying the vibe and tone of the narrative with the right touches at the right moments.
Hawk Eye Analysis:
The movie will keep your attention throughout its nearly three hour span. The pacing is perfect and the crafting of the dialogue, which of course, is national award winner Anjali Menon’s specialty, really shines through in this.
The many humorous dialogues and well timed one liners are so casual and organic that you find yourself laughing often but not so hard that your attention sways from the details.
Criticism? Well, here’s the deal…
Inadvertently or with full intention and knowledge, Anjali has collected and regurgitated pretty much every cliché and fixed template as far as storylines go, which would seem unoriginal (mildly put) to experienced movie buffs, especially those with a keen insight in to Hollywood productions over the years. I mean, you have inspiration, romance, forgiveness, redemption and coming of age; all rolled up in to one neat package.
But what she has done, quite well actually, is stick with her strengths in making the characters and events believable and natural – even though, by themselves, they’re hardly new or would surprise you in any way.
That is, the story is predictable but that seems to be by design, not accidental. The focus is on the fun factor and light heartedness mixed in with some raw drama and emotion.
Every done to death angle has been recycled and used in one complete story that keeps you in your chair with your eyes glued to the screen – maybe not exactly ‘enchanted’ but having fun none the less.
Entertaining, visually and musically lively and a good wholesome three hours of fun which doesn’t leave you wanting more but doesn’t leave you regretting the ticket price either.
Be warned though, the humor element and the tone of the movie is aimed at the younger crowds, so those of you who favor the older models of storytelling, maybe you should leave this one alone.
But the others who have been waiting for this one for ages now – rush to this one with no qualms! It won’t disappoint unless you are expecting a bit too much.