My family owned a Maruti 800 for almost 11 years and there was a very deep emotional connection with that car. I am saying this because I can understand where the idea behind Gauthamante Radham came from. But debutant director Anand Menon just couldn’t utilize that emotional bonding in his first movie simply because of a lackluster script. Gauthamante Radham is a movie where you can clearly understand which portions were written with sincerity and which all portions were written to lengthen the movie.
Gauthaman was always an automobile enthusiast. After getting his license at the age of 18, Gauthaman sort of persuaded his father to buy a second-hand lancer car. But the financial condition of the family forced his father to buy only a Nano car. The movie Gauthamante Radham is about the bonding between Gauthaman and Nanappan (Nano’s pet name) which changed from hate to love over a course of time.
To be very honest, when the movie reached that interval block in the middle of a pointless Munnar trip, I kind of sensed a disastrous outcome as the movie never really got going even after reaching the interval. But thanks to the exquisite cinematography of Vishnu Sharma, which made that grandmother episode in the second half look extremely moving and Gauthamante Radham managed to reduce the damage there. A larger portion of Gauthamante Radham is skipping through disjoint episodes in Gauthaman’s life. Almost the entire first half of the movie feels scattered. In the second half, there is a romantic episode happening and that also has this exaggerated feel to its credit. Seeing a Sid Sriram song for that kind of a fragile romance was a bit difficult for me to digest. The grandmother portion in the second half had an emotional connect and you can sense that it was perhaps the only area in this movie where Anand Menon was really confident as a writer. Everything else is so superficial.
Neeraj Madhav has a natural charm in his performance and that makes him a convincing choice for Gauthaman. Basil Joseph, who is credited as the creative director of the movie as well, was a big relief in my opinion. His usual kind of comedy provides a lot of fun when the movie actually was getting dragged. And there were some emotional sequences here and there where Basil sort of showed us that he is not a mere comic relief. Punya Elizabeth couldn’t really make that impact here as the leading lady. The naïve nature of Renji Panicker’s character was annoying in certain areas. Valsala Menon as the grandmother was memorable and Devi Ajith plays the role of Gauthaman’s mother.
The screenplay development is the area where Anand Menon fails to give this idea of first love a real soul. He has invested too much in comedy, that too very caricaturish in nature at the beginning of the movie. I was looking at the second half of Gauthamante Radham as a cover-up process. Because that’s where the real memories attached to that car begins. But barring the trip with the family, the other episodes feel so unreal. Towards the climax, there is this back and forth drama of giving the car and taking it back which after a point became extremely cheesy. Vishnu Sharma’s visuals are extremely beautiful and there was a good feel to the family trip portion in the second that had nice visuals, effective cuts, and a really good song. As a viewer, I really wished the movie sort of maintained the quality of that area throughout its runtime.
In my opinion, Gauthamante Radham is the soul mate of Rinosh George starrer Nonsense. I kind of hated the immaturity in the writing of both these movies. I am saying this because there were a lot of rave reviews for Nonsense when it finally released on Amazon Prime. If you were okay with that movie, then this movie may work for you. I found myself experiencing the same discomfort as I sat through Gauthamante Radham.
Gauthamante Radham is a movie where you can clearly understand which portions were written with sincerity and which all portions were written to lengthen the movie.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended