Pranaya Meenukalude Kadal directed by Kamal has one of the most annoying and problematic heroes I have seen in recent times. His idea of romance is a really dangerous one and thus when the movie tries to pitch him as a determined Romeo, there is no empathy getting generated here. Even the script of this movie is in that half baked state. Towards the end when we finally sense some sort of interesting rhythm, the movie ends in the most abrupt way possible.
The story here is set in the backdrop of Lakshadweep. A team of men from Beypore goes to Lakshadweep to repair a ship (Manj) owned by the Arakkal family. Upon reaching the island, one of the group members Ajmal falls in love with Jasmine, the granddaughter of the Arakkal Beevi. How this love story blossoms amidst all the class cultural differences is what Pranaya Meenukalude Kadal showing us.
I don’t know whether you guys have noticed this. When veteran people in the industry write stories about the younger generation, there is a very peripheral way of looking at them. Here also one can sense that. The older character with backstories are stable, they have backstories and reasoning. But when it comes to young ones, they are treated so carelessly. They want to establish Ajmal and his friends as reckless and carefree and the way they establish those stuff is very much on a caricature level. This becomes a major issue, because it questions the fundamental logic of why an educated self-sufficient girl like Jasmine should fall for a moron like Ajmal who at one point molests her underwater and then lies.
Kamal’s story is on the predictable side and it was this psychopath angle given to a particular character that was making things slightly interesting. But the screenplay, co-written by John Paul, just doesn’t have enough drama and grey shades to create that nervousness. The screenplay is somewhat confused about whether to focus on the loyalty of Hydru or the love story of Ajmal and Jasmine. As things move forward, we could easily sense a pattern that doesn’t have the backup of an emotionally solid and unique story. The cinematography by Vishnu Panicker is lush covering the beautiful aspect of the island. The edits were a bit awkward at some areas creating unnecessary emotional jumps to the narrative rather than a smooth transition. The music was okay while the background score was very typical from Shaan Rahman. The visual effects used in the movie were extremely tacky and I am not sure whether you wrestle with a shark in order to catch it.
Debutante Gabri Jose and actress Riddhi Kumar play the roles of Ajmal and Jasmine respectively. Gabri Jose can be a good actor if he gets a properly written character. The insanely annoying Ajmal makes it difficult to say whether it was bad acting or bad writing. Riddhi Kumar has lovely expressions and there is a likable vibe in her presentation of character. And a good chunk of the credit should be given to Sneha Paliyeri for that convincing dubbing in the Lakshadweep slang. Vinayakan plays yet another eccentric in the form of Hydru and he is like an easy choice to play such a role where loyalty and anger are the primary ingredients. Dileesh Pothan delivered a really natural performance as Ansari. Padmavati Rao, Sreedhanya, Saiju Kurup, Sudheesh etc are the other major names here.
Pranaya Meenukalude Kadal is dull and unexciting. The introduction scene of our hero has him hanging from a cliff and waiting for the fire force to rescue him. The reason why he ended up in that position was due to his obsession to take selfies. And from the very first moment he sees our heroine, he is taking her photos and sending it to his house declaring she is her future wife. And the guy uses so many Mohanlal movie references to justify his horrendous behavior and if Mohanlal watches this film he might even think “What Have I Done!”
When veteran people in the industry write stories about the younger generation, there is a very peripheral way of looking at them. Here also one can sense that.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended