Varshangalkku Shesham review: Vineeth Sreenivasan’s tale of friendship is earnest but melodramatic - Hindustan Times
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Varshangalkku Shesham review: Vineeth Sreenivasan’s tale of friendship is earnest but melodramatic

Apr 12, 2024 07:52 PM IST

Varshangalkku Shesham review: The film captures how the film industry is not easy for outsiders and every Friday is a test of your talent.

Varshangalkku Shesham review: A tale that revolves around friendship and cinema seems to be a match made in heaven, especially when it is written and directed by someone who grew up in the film industry and casts his friends as the actors. Actor, writer and director Vineeth Sreenivasan (actor-filmmaker Sreenivasan’s son) has chosen to cast his brother, Dhyan Sreenivasan as Venu and his friend, Pranav Mohanlal (Mohanlal’s son) as Murali, the two friends which Varshangalkku Shesham revolves around. (Also Read: Aavesham movie review: Fahadh Faasil makes this gangster comedy outstanding)

Varshangalkku Shesham review: Dhyan Sreenivasan, Pranav Mohanlal star in a film that sees cameos by Nivin Pauly and Kalyani Priyadarshan.
Varshangalkku Shesham review: Dhyan Sreenivasan, Pranav Mohanlal star in a film that sees cameos by Nivin Pauly and Kalyani Priyadarshan.

While this story explores two friends and their lives in the movie world between from the 1970s to several decades later, it is quite different from any of the previous films that have been released in recent times.

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The plot

As a teenager in Kannur, Venu is an aspiring writer who is hopeless at studies and whiles away his time with Shakespeare Shekar’s theatre troupe. Meanwhile, Murali is a musician (violinist) who wants to be a ghazal music composer and ekes out a meagre living, playing at events, which he blows up on alcohol. They both have dreams of making it big one day in their different fields and one fine day, decide to move to Madras to try their luck with cinema.

Venu and Murali believe that their friendship would only grow stronger over the years but life in the big film industry is not what they thought it would be. Every day, Venu does odd jobs to learn the skill of direction and Murali begs musicians to let him play for a song. One day, their fate changes when Murali is able to get a producer for Venu and the rest is history.

When Venu asks his friend to compose music for his film, Murali hides that he doesn’t want to be a music director for films, but hopes to be taken more seriously. Venu becomes a successful director but Murali’s career graph plummets and the friends drift apart. The film explores what happens after.

A love letter that doesn't always work

If the first half is dedicated to the early years of Venu-Murali’s friendship, the second half takes us to the later years bringing in more humour with other characters, like actor Nithin Molly (Nivin Pauly) and assistant director Pradeep (Basil Joseph).

Director and writer Vineeth Sreenivasan has given us some excellent films earlier but this ‘love letter to cinema’ at 2 hours and 45 minutes does get trying after a while. He has been able to capture how the film industry was at that time peppering it with plenty of inside jokes, references to older directors, actors and films, and how survival deemed it necessary to manipulate people. Nostalgia abounds but the writing, unfortunately, is choppy. The first half is highly melodramatic and the tone completely shifts in the second half to humour and light-heartedness.

Speaking about Venu-Murali’s friendship and their falling out, the point of conflict between Venu and Murali is weak and left unexplained. Moreover, the on-screen chemistry between Dhyan and Pranav is lacklustre and lacks the depth that such die-hard friends should ideally have. There are no hard-hitting flashpoints in their friendship in the best of times or the worst of times.

Nivin Pauly kicks it up a notch

However, what takes the film up several notches is Nivin Pauly’s appearance as Nithin Molly in the second half. The talented actor kills it with his narcissistic role that captures everything from body shaming to trolling to nepotism and has you chuckling away. While his role may be a cameo, it is the highlight of the film as he walks away with the claps.

As for the performances of Dhyan and Pranav, Dhyan makes more of an impact than Pranav as his role is more emotional. Kalyani Priyadarshan, who appears in a cameo as Pranav’s love interest, doesn’t really have too much to do.

Final thoughts

Varshangalkku Shesham is possibly Vineeth Sreenivasan’s take on how there are those in the film industry who don’t sell out come what may. The film also captures how the film industry is not easy for outsiders and every Friday is a test of your talent. And this film is likely to test Vineeth Sreenivasan too.

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