To create drama, you need conflicts in a story. But when those conflicts are pretty thin and feel forcefully added to the script to have some friction, the drama doesn’t hold, and the film fails to have that desired impact. Ayalvaashi, the debut directorial from Irshad Parari, is one such movie. They are talking about a misunderstanding between two close friends who are neighbors. But the fragility of conflicts makes this movie look like a stretched-out drama.
Theju and Benny are close friends and neighbors. They are so close that Benny’s bigger house was used for Theju’s sister-in-law’s engagement. After that function, Benny finds out that someone had used his scooter, which was there for sale. A new scratch on that scooter made the guy who made the advance payment blackout from the sale. We witness how that incident changes the friendship dynamic between Theju and Benny in Ayalvaashi.
The problem with the script is that it is playing with a very thin plot. And at the same time, it is divulging into way too many subplots to make it look funny and complicated. But neither those funny lines nor those emotional angles work for the film to make us feel that something substantial is there to root for Theju for his pain. Many comedic distractions feel like distractions at first glance (the whole Salman fight comedy, for instance). The interval block of the film is too weak, and somewhere I felt the script forgot about the “Vaashi” aspect they mentioned in the title.
After a long time, the performance from Soubin Shahir felt a lot more natural and subtle. He was playing this guy who just couldn’t hurt anyone. Like Saji from Kumbalangi Nights, Soubin internalized the character’s pain neatly. On the other hand, Binu Pappu struggled with the dialogue delivery. He wants to crack the Kottayam slang, but the Kozhikodan in him is not really allowing it. What you get is a very artificial dialogue delivery. Gokulan, as the comic relief mutual friend, was fine. Naslen gets a character slightly different from his usual ones, but the screen time is minimal. Lijomol Jose was an apt choice for the role of Theju’s better half. Nikhila Vimal was in her typical style and was fine in the assigned role. Jagadish, Kottayam Nazeer, Vijayaraghavan, etc., are also part of the elaborate cast of the film.
When some people remarked that they are releasing OTT-designed films in theaters for Eid, I wasn’t really in agreement with it. But seeing the aspect ratio, tight framing, and overall minimalism, it’s very hard to ignore that statement. Irshad Parari has this idea to make it look very light and funny. But he somewhere forgets to give a solid foundation to the equations between characters. And the focus of the script is also blurry. When Theju finally clears his name in front of Benny and Benny feels terrible for how he behaved, the sentimentality of that scene doesn’t work. With symmetric visuals and quick pans, Sajith Purushan tries to amplify the humor through the visual style. The music is pretty unique, but the wackiness they have tried to pull off in those songs through choreography doesn’t really blend with the film’s tonality.
Ayalvaashi is an underdeveloped script that wants to be a packaged entertainer. The pain of Theju actually deserved a film. But the script forgets to establish him properly. Instead, it goes after the brittle complexities and humor, and they just don’t have an organic flow. It was supposed to be a movie about what happened between Theju and Benny, but instead, it looked like a stack of unimpactful jokes and twists.
It was supposed to be a movie about what happened between Theju and Benny, but instead, it looked like a stack of unimpactful jokes and twists.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended