I did it! A Malayalam movie opening day in theaters! I am so tired. I almost fell asleep in the theater, but then I didn’t. And now I have achieved things and I can write the review.
Does seeing Prithviraj smile make you smile? Does watching him beat up bad guys with big kicks and long legs make you cheer? Does seeing him be a sweet and sensitive and loving brother make your heart grow three sizes? Would you be happy with an entire film that is just Prithviraj bein’ cute and a plot that makes no sense? In that case, this is the film for you! On the other hand, if you are lukewarm on Prithviraj but like good movies, this is not so much for you.
When I was in college, I decided to spend one Saturday night finally watching Giant (very long American film). It started right in the middle of things, no opening credits or anything, our hero was already middle-aged with grown children, there were all these relationships and issues I didn’t understand that were just referenced somehow. I thought it was super smart and artsy and groundbreaking. And then I realized that it was a 2 disc set and I had put in the second disc first. I started over from the real beginning and it all made a lot more sense.
That’s what I kept thinking of watching this movie. Did they put the reels in the wrong order? Or was there somehow a bit of a totally different Prithviraj movie that got stuck in her in the middle of this one? Surely there is an explanation for why this feels like 3 different movies (a comedy, a human tragedy, and a crime thriller) weirdly shoved together.
Part of it was on purpose, this is one of those thrillers where it all comes together at the end, all the stories that don’t seem connected actually are. And there is the theme from the title, brothers, that threads through it all. But ultimately there are a lot of hanging threads. And even the theme isn’t explored quite as much as it could, or should, be.
It’s not all bad, Prithviraj is his charming star charisma self. The humorous group of friends are fun. The two heroines are well-performed by Aishwarya Lekshmi and Madonna Sebestian. Madonna’s character in particular is something a little bit different than I have seen before. She’s one of the gang with the guys, while still being a nice kind person and getting along fine with women too. She’s rich, but from a funny lowerclass type of rich father, not a spoiling her type of father. Heck, I even like her clothes! She goes around in jeans and nice sweaters and tops. Not aggressively “tomboy” but very much “I want to get around and do things, I am not interested in wearing pretty clothes”. Aishwarya also has great clothes, come to think of it. Subtly childish, dresses with high waists and long skirts. Not unattractive, not inappropriate, but with a feeling of someone who is a little fragile and a little young.
But, yeah, the plot is pretty weak. And the construction is very weak, random comedy sections after tragedy, and then the script never ties them all back together. But hey, Prithviraj has like 5 fight scenes and a whole bunch of “good brother” moments. And wears a suit, like, A LOT.