13 November 2014 | nairtejas
A Capturing Drama Coils Into A Ramrod Weepie. ♦ 64%
There is a peculiar essence about the start of the film which will remind you of last year's Christmas release, Jeethu Joseph's mega- hit, money-pumping plagiarizer "Drishyam." Over-happy parents living for their sole all-rounder son in a neighborhood filled with bigots and vultures, as they nag him to be on top of the world. I'm sure the makers envied Joseph's luck and thus, adopted his style. But, Varsham fails in comparison with Drishyam, as the story is not a thriller, but a weepy family drama directly out of an old, pious lady's motivational life diary.
Mammootty and Asha Sharath play possessive parents of a normal child. They all succumb to their exclusiveness in one way or another as the story narrates about Venu's (Mammootty) selfish, stingy attitude toward life. He has millions of money, yet calculates penny's worth of accounts, be it his son's school fees or his house-helper's urgent native travel. It reflects real life personalities who accumulate money in their cupboards, yet fail to relish the small things in life. 40 minutes into the film, a tragedy occurs and all hell breaks loose.
Aunties sitting around me started weeping uncontrollably as I tried to shift my glances from them to the screen. The hall was filled with sobs and sneezes. Mammootty and Sharath portray graciously and the latter seemed to be mixing her role of Drishyam with the homemaker one in here. Mammootty is glamorous as ever and manages to re-establish himself, along with Munarriyippu, after his early 2014 debacles. Mamata Mohandas is a courteous doctor and all sweet and plump after her second stint with the big C. Supporting cast is fine.
While I appreciate the writers for silver-lining the main theme of selfishness with elements like that of unscrupulous finance schemes in and around Kerala and the political hand it uses to flourish, I really didn't find any newness in what followed next. The second half is less weepy, but is more of a biographical inspiration: how one can expend his resources and turn into philanthropy after all's lost. Sounds like cliché!
Well, it definitely is. I lost interest further as the primary characters started fictionalizing themselves just to power up the story they tell. Director Ranjith Sankar knows his tactics as the back of his hand, yet he fears ingenuity. Screenplay and editing are both seamless and not much to talk about. The film loses traction because of one petty mistake in the statutory warning: they misspell the word "alcohol," which I would interpret as sheer carelessness from the editing department. A single notch high in efforts from the makers would've worked wonders.
BOTTOM LINE: A family drama which will definitely gobble you up. It has good performances and a fine narration, which will at least not bore you. If I had to compare this week's two releases, I'd go for Varsham over "Iyobinte Pusthakam."
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES