Aviyal wants to be this eventful coming-of-age story about a man. But its peripheral approach and the desperation to look complex somewhere makes it an unimpressive script. It shows the travel of a man from his teens to early thirties. But the movie wants to cover so many bullet points that it forgets to invest in the character and make the viewer empathize with him.
Krishnan is our central character. He lives with his father, and they share this “bro-daddy” relationship. Krishnan wasn’t that focused on life and what we see in this movie is his evolution. And at every crucial juncture in his life, there was a woman. The trajectory of this journey is the story of Aviyal.
The movie is narrated as a flashback where we have a mature Krishnan telling his daughter about his romantic encounters. And if you look at those encounters, they are placed in a way that will gradually show the hero’s evolution. But the writing is struggling to deep dive into the character’s psyche. When the character Diana played by Anjali Nair, talks about Madhavikutty, we get an idea about that character through minimal explanations. But Shanil is going after familiar beats in treating those segments. The audience is made to feel like one of those onlookers who isn’t informed much about what has happened.
Sirajudheen Nazar plays the role of Krishnan. The physical transformation part was convincing. But the writing isn’t really supporting the actor. It places the character in a jarringly different tone in each episode. Hence it feels like a performance rather than a convincing transition. The dialect was also a problem. Shafeer Khan as the cool father was very convincing. Anjali Nair and Alexander Prashanth got good characters in the film. Athmeeya Rajan yet again gets this depressed soul kind of character. Joju George and Anashwara Rajan are basically playing two extended cameos as the story’s narrators.
There is a lack of refinement in Shanil Muhammed’s writing that just takes the life out of the script. The dramatic dialogues and tone shifts somewhere put the movie in that zone of an amateurish short film. The women empowerment agenda of the movie, in the end, felt like another version of benevolent sexism. The film’s editing felt quite lazy, with an easily visible lack of continuity in many areas. The music by Sanker Sharma is impressive. But the scattered placement of songs reduces the spotlight they deserved.
The ultimate output of the movie justifies the title in a rather unintentional way. Aviyal looks very busy on a superficial level. The scripting traits you see in movies that depict the complex phases of an individual’s life are also seen here. An emotional relatability is something that a coming-of-age story should have, and Shanil’s writing can’t achieve that.
An emotional relatability is something that a coming-of-age story should have, and Shanil's writing can't achieve that.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended