When the basic story is a mixture of predictable pattern and practically unconvincing ideas, it is very difficult for us to root for the emotions. Velipadinte Pusthakam is that festival entertainer which tries to do too much on a very brittle base. With only cinematography making a positive impact, this wasn’t the package one would have expected from the Lal combo.
SPOILER ALERT! This movie was released without a trailer. So in order to review it I will have to reveal some plot points in the remaining part of this review. Story is set in a college near the sea shore. It was built for the convenience of students from that part to go for higher studies. So in the present day the college gets a new vice principal, Mr. Michael Idikkula and the cool charming guy gets welcomed by all categories of students very quickly. The college needed a hostel, but they only had the permission from management, but no financial support. So in order to raise a fund, Idikkula proposes an idea and the movie is about the repercussions of that idea.
The idea of College students under the leadership of vice principal deciding to make a mainstream commercial movie is itself a really tough thought for an audience to digest. That core theme’s unconvincing nature is the main reason why I couldn’t connect with this film. Lal Jose has tried to cover up that patch by giving less visual space to the shooting phase and playing more on the other sides of that story. But still it is not enough. Whatever happens outside that perimeter is the usual revenge-twist stories that Mr. Benny P Nairambalam and his contemporaries like Uday Krishna and Sibi K Thomas used to write. The psychosis twist in the tale wasn’t having much of an impact on the viewers.
There is no real narrative uniqueness to the credit of this film. The sequences that don’t have much of an intrigue to their credit are happening very sequentially. It will be very hard for someone to pick a particular scene and say that this one was really good. From the over the top intro to predictable yet lively interval block, the film discretely packs a punch. Lal Jose as always has the ability to pack his songs with nice visuals and this time Vishnu Sharma helps him in making the visuals beautiful even beyond the songs. A good script is the foundation of a good cinema and when you have a weak one with a flawed core, it is really difficult to make it a good movie. A short film director is becoming director, somebody who used to write is becoming a script writer and they have got the best of actors for all the roles. You might say don’t take it too seriously; it’s just an entertainer cinema. But it never looked like a movie that asked you to leave the thinking caps at home. Edits weren’t that great. As I already mentioned, the visuals were really good. The songs are somewhat in sync with the narrative. The background score was bit too loud.
Mohanlal has reached that point where the number of characters he has done is so much that you eventually find resemblances with some of the characters he has already done. The calm Idikkula and the vigorous Vishwan were fine in his hands. Lal Jose has casted the most impressive young actors that came to the industry in the last one year, but the story and characters are so wide that some of them get lost in the crowd. Salim Kumar’s comical role at times slips in to that excessive zone. Anna Rajan and Sarath Kumar of Angamaly Diaries have got a fair enough role. Arun Kurien was a bit disappointing. Chemban Vinod Jose and Siddique were good in those negative characters. Anoop Menon literally has four lines of dialogues in the whole movie. Priyanka Nair, Sneha Sreekumar, Alencier, Shivaji Guruvayoor, Jude Anthany Joseph and a lot of actors are there in the whole movie.
Velipadinte Pusthakam doesn’t have the kick of a really entertaining commercial movie. It feels flat at many areas. It has occasional humour and a few of the so called mass scenes. But in a movie that has a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes, these moments get scattered. When Lal Jose and Mohanlal are collaborating, there is no need to keep the expectations low.
When Lal Jose and Mohanlal are collaborating, there is no need to keep the expectations low.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended