There will be a category of the audience who won’t be interested in things like nuanced writing or the craft in the making etc. if there is a message attached to the film. Director Vyasan KP’s new film Shubharathri is designed for such people. The movie is an overflow of goodness and for anyone who has no clue about how much Malayalam cinema has evolved over the years, this movie might feel like an okay product. Barring the ever so charming performance of Siddique, this pile of melodrama is a lackluster attempt.
Mohammed is a well-settled family man with a son and two daughters. His life is going smooth and he is currently seeing all his relatives as he prepares to go for Hajj. But on the night before his Hajj trip, something happens at his house and the incidents that happened there connects him with a man named Krishnan who is struggling in life. So how these two are linked and how Mohammed becomes an influence in Krishnan’s life is what Shubharathri talking about.
We should all be good people, we should forgive each other, we should be humble, etc are what the movie saying to us. But Vyasan KP has no intent to show all these things in a subtle way. Mohammed played by Siddique is always like this epitome of goodness. His wife is supportive, his children have no problems. You ask for any variety of goodness, Vyasan KP has it. Mohammed asks for forgiveness from everyone and he is like the perfect example of a perfect guy. And in the second half, the film shifts to the utterly clichéd story of Krishnan and anyone with a basic idea of cinema can see what will happen at the end, very soon after the introduction of the character of Krishnan.
The making of Vyasan KP is an extremely outdated one. There is a scene where a misunderstood Krishnan is trying to explain his situation to his wife. Instead of telling her what actually happened, the guy is blabbering and requesting her to let him speak. Anyone with common sense would think why the hell he is waiting for her permission to say the most important topic? This and many more were some of the outdated traits of Malayalam cinema that people laugh at today. Shubharathri is like the annual meeting of all such clichés. As I said, Vyasan KP has no regard for plugging ideas gently. His way of showing communal harmony is pretty much on your face. Cringe-worthy melodrama dominates in the second half. Alby’s cinematography was okay and I liked the songs by Bijibal. The background score should have been minimal.
Even in a trashy movie like Achayans, Siddique was able to steal the show with his scintillating performance. Here also one can see how good he is as an actor. He manages to give life to such a single tone character with bumper sticker dialogues. Dileep has basically done an extended cameo here in this film and his character appears only in the second half of the movie. In the emotional scenes, Dileep was struggling to make us feel for the character and the writing wasn’t helping him at all. Shanthi Krishna plays the role of Mohammed’s wife. There are numerous characters played by several actors that don’t add anything to the story. The whole IS and NIA chapter shown in the beginning had no significance at the end of the movie. Anu Sithara was disappointing. Nadirshah was there always with a mild smile. Sai Kumar, Indrans, Nedumudi Venu, etc showed their experience in vaguely written roles. Asha Sharath, Suraj Venjaramood, Aju Varghese, etc are there to make sure that the movie will go beyond the two-hour mark.
If the intent was the only thing that decided the quality of a movie, then Shubharathri is a gem. Because in it’s every single breath it is trying to tell the viewer to be a good human being. But this Vyasan KP movie is severely annoying mainly because of its deliberate efforts to include goodness at every nook and corner. A sea of melodrama is watchable, but this is a tsunami of melodrama and that’s dangerous.
A sea of melodrama is watchable, but this is a tsunami of melodrama and that’s dangerous.