Partners Review | A Lousy Heist Film That Has No Regard for the Audience’s Intelligence

There is a flashback sequence at the beginning of the new Dhyan Sreenivasan starrer Malayalam film Partners, where you see bullets piercing through car windshields and hitting Hareesh Peradi. Seeing the quality of the visuals, I honestly thought I was in for something that would genuinely make me excited. But pretty soon, because of the shoddy writing, Naveen John’s film starts to feel pretty underwhelming, and it is one of those heist movies where the characters inside the movie will be surprised, but our movie-watching experience won’t give us any sort of surprise.

So the story is set in the year 2005, and a bunch of young people who wanted to survive in life were hired by Uduppi Gramin Bank for their upcoming branch in Bedakam, a village in Kasaragode. Vishnu, who was part of the group of employees that were hired by the bank officials, pretty soon finds out that something about the functioning of this bank is off. What we see in the movie is Vishnu’s investigation to find the truth about the bank and a parallel investigation done by an Income Tax Officer, Parthasarathy.

If I was watching this film in the ’90s, I would have been really impressed by how they have pulled this off. But the reality is that we are in 2024, and by this time, almost all of us have seen a handful of heist concepts, and we know the stereotypes and cliches of this type of story. Despite being a replica of the Oceans franchise, what made something like Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s Sapthamashree Thaskarah an entertaining and fun watch was how it transported such a story to the setting of Kerala. The main issue with Partners is the fact that it is deliberately ignoring the knowledge of the audience. I watched the movie in a fairly packed theater, and to every glorified twist, there was absolutely no response from the audience, and the reason was simply the predictability in the writing.

In terms of acting, it’s like seeing actors with potential getting offered roles that they can just sleepwalk through. Dhyan Sreenivasan as Vishnu is more in the serious space this time, and it’s just his usual set of expressions. Kalabhavan Shajon as the investigative officer was fine, and yet again, it just doesn’t feel like any sort of challenge for an actor of his caliber. Sanju Shivaram is there as the branch manager. Aneesh Gopal was okay in his typical style, while Dinesh Kollappally, in his own production, delivered the worst performance. Rony David plays one of the antagonists in the film along with Madhusdhan Rao. Devaki Rajendran, who I have felt deserves better roles in mainstream cinema, gets a pretty generically written character. Alexander Prashanth, Srikanth Murali, etc., are the other names in the cast.

Director and co-writer of this film, Naveen John, has previously written the Unni Mukundan starrer Ira. Like any other bad film, the fundamental problem is the writing. SPOILER ALERT! When you see the officials opening the bank locker, it is pretty obvious that the gold won’t be there. Similarly, from a very early stage, we can predict the fraudulent nature of the bank, the mole in the gang, etc. There is an unnecessary romantic track in the film that has no purpose. There was one particular scene where Vishnu took a group of students and their teacher into the strong room. He then opened the vault and showed it to them. There were three writers for this film, and none of them felt like asking any of their banker friends or relatives about how “practical” this scene was. How the writing finally explains how they pulled it off also lacks coherence.

Partners is a very predictable and lazy heist film that underestimates the audience and their exposure. With abandoned subplots and genre cliches boring us to the core, the movie has done justice to its theme by fooling the audience, just like how the partners fooled the investigators. So, if you haven’t watched any heist movies in your life, this one is for you.

Final Thoughts

Partners is a very predictable and lazy heist film that underestimates the audience and their exposure.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.