The base plot of the new Malayalam film Dear Vaappi is a generic mix of entrepreneurial struggles and a father-daughter relationship. But the R&D of the script is just terrible. With those bumper sticker dialogues drenched in utopian positivity, this cliched motivation drama feels like two-hour-long harassment.
Amira and her father, Basheer, are the central characters of this movie. Basheer is a tailor who has worked in Mumbai for a really long time. He has finally returned to his homeland to start his own textile business. He shares his dream with his daughter Amira. What we see in Dear Vaappi is the efforts of this duo to set up a brand with the support of their well-wishers and the hurdles that came in front of them in their struggle.
A group of boys was there in the theater where I saw the film, and they were having fun trying to predict the next line that will get spoken in the movie. And 90% of the time, they will win very easily. The dialogues in this movie are stuck in that “Amme Dha Ettan Vannu” century. I feel that the cringe levels could have been reduced considerably if Shan Thulaseedharan had made an effort to make someone else write the dialogue for this movie. The PDA in the first half and the motivational melodrama in the second half are tough to sit through.
As the hyper-optimistic Basheer, Lal delivered a decent performance and was the least irritating performer in the whole cast. Anagha Narayanan, who is really struggling to pick good scripts after a terrific debut in Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, is clueless about how to portray the bubbly and pleasant single child. Niranj Maniyanpilla Raju is all over the place as that stalker Romeo Riyas. Sreerekha, who was pretty good in Veyil, was struggling here to pull off those extremely dramatic and cheesy dialogues. Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Sunil Sughada, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Appunni Sasi, Maniyanpilla Raju, Neena Kurup, etc., are the other prominent names in the star cast.
Shan Thulaseedharan, who has written and directed this film, indeed has a one-liner idea. But when it comes to developing that idea into a layered story, he depends on the age-old cliches we have seen in Malayalam cinema. The presentation of certain ideas clearly underestimates the viewer’s basic intelligence. There is a sequence in the movie where the district collector advises Amira to think about online sales. The whole app-making and digital marketing montage somewhere exposes the lack of research of the writing team. The interval block and the developments after that are easily guessable. To make things worse, we have these sentimental overdoses that almost look like an excuse to cover up creative mediocrity.
Dear Vaappi is a film that uses its emotional story as an excuse to escape from the blame of being sloppy in the writing department. The dialogues are so corny even if the actors delivered an award-winning performance, you won’t feel like rooting for them. With a template story and a poorly developed screenplay, Dear Vaappi is a lousy deal for the viewer.
With a template story and a poorly developed screenplay, Dear Vaappi is a lousy deal for the viewer.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended