Varshangalkku Shesham Review | An Overtly Melodramatic Friendship Tale Saved by the Second-Half Humor

When I saw the song Nyabagam from Varshangalkku Shesham, a few days back, I had a feeling that this song was going to be the reason the movie would stay with the audience as some sort of lingering pain as those sustained shots of Dhyan Sreenivasan and Pranav Mohanlal had a sense of melancholy in them. But, once I finished watching the film, the whole 70s episode and whenever the movie lingers on to the emotions of the elderly characters, feels like the movie’s weakness. What saves Varshangalkku Shesham and essentially gives it that high is the humor that Vineeth Sreenivasan had managed to crack in films like Thattathin Marayathu and Oru Vadakkan Selfie.

The movie is about two friends, Murali and Venu. Venu loved theater and wanted to do something in that line, and Murali aspired to be an independent musician. Their way of living was entirely different, and at one point, they both decided to move to Madras pursuing their passion. The evolution of this friendship and the ups and downs through which it goes over the course of 40+ years is what we see in Varshangalkku Shesham.

So, the character of Murali is an extremely impulsive guy. His decision-making is quite erratic. At two points in the movie, you can see the friends having a fallout. The problem with the writing of Vineeth Sreenivasan is that he has to cover several events in a short period and the audience struggles to get a feel of the friendship. How Venu kicks Murali out the first time doesn’t have an organic evolution, and it feels like a very hasty and arrogant move. It was the same even in the second fallout when Venu sort of blames Murali for reigniting his dreams. It’s almost like Vineeth forcefully created that separation to reach the drama happening in the climax.

During the movie’s promotions, they all told stories about the fun they had during the Munnar shoot days. In fact, that is exactly the portion of the film that feels fun and agile. From that funeral sequence, the movie shifts gears on a humor level, and there is banter comedy frequently happening in the second half. The equation between Murali and Venu is also quite humor-driven in the second half. The meta humor, industry spoofing, and Nivin Pauly’s self-mockery are all making the second half of this film extremely entertaining, and frankly, whenever bits of Nyabagam were played in the backdrop, my mind was like “Don’t go there”. The cinematography by Vishwajith succeeds in giving a distinct look and feel to the two eras shown in the film. Ranjan Abraham has paced the movie neatly, and considering how less distracting it was despite having a close to three-hour duration, I would say he has done a great job. The production design of the movie was also really good. The music by Amrit Ramnath is extremely beautiful on an album level, and I have a feeling that it would have had a greater impact if the drama in the story was a lot more impressive. Having said that, I must say Nyabagam is an extremely therapeutic track.

It was quite obvious from the trailer that Dhyan Sreenivasan was trying to break away from his comfort zone, and Venu from Varshangalkku Shesham is clearly a great performance compared to his other roles. From the initial bits that pretty much use his usual mannerisms, he evolves into the veteran Venu quite smoothly, and like how he claimed in interviews, it never felt like a fancy dress. Pranav Mohanlal is flowing much more smoothly in this film, and there are areas where he is performing without any sort of inhibitions. The older version of Murali is slightly challenging for him, and there are some moments where you would feel the diction can be refined a little more. Aju Varghese went back to his comfort zone, and it was good to see him perform fluently in that space. Basil Joseph is hilarious in the second half, especially in some of his scenes with Nivin Pauly. Another main highlight of the cast is, of course, Nivin Pauly and I have a feeling that most of the lines he has said in the movie were improvised. Humor is an area where Nivin Pauly has proven his mettle, and Vineeth Sreenivasan allows him to channel all his anger to give the audience some laugh-out-loud moments.

If you are expecting a deeply moving coming-of-age friendship story, there are chances that you will feel disappointed. The feeling of catharsis the movie sort of promised through its promos and music is lacking when it comes to the final product. But if your expectations are more aligned with the humor and the fun side, then Varshangalkku Shesham would give you enough entertainment to feel a sense of satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

If your expectations are more aligned with the humor and the fun side, then Varshangalkku Shesham would give you enough entertainment to feel a sense of satisfaction.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.