Maniyarayile Ashokan, actor Jacob Gregory’s first movie in a lead function, opens with Dulquer Salmaan’s voiceover introducing us to a old fashioned village in some a part of Kerala. Where is picture-perfect, with inexperienced meadows, backwaters, idle villagers and a stupendous girl who’s the cynosure of all eyes. Previous males wilt at her gaze, law enforcement officials chasing thieves get distracted by way of her and youngsters are left in guffawing awe by way of her loveliness. Then in the future, she runs away with the postman, leaving at the back of a path of damaged hearts.
However the girl assists in keeping reappearing as a reference all through the narrative. It’s as though the movie’s makers (debutant administrators Shamzu Zayba and Vineeth Krishnan) had been anxiously looking to infuse some novelty right into a plot that may, at absolute best, be termed abnormal. The core storyline for a rom-com holds some intrigue (spoiler alert!)—after many failed makes an attempt to discover a bride, a tender guy with an “unfortunate” horoscope makes a decision to wed a plantain tree, most effective to fall in love with it. The thread provides some quirky chances however sadly, not anything in point of fact holds our consideration on this haphazard narrative.
There’s a small scene that displays a sweaty, worried Ashokan (Gregory) on his marriage ceremony night time as he tries to bolt a creaking door,—“The door is protesting as I haven’t greased it,” he says—which made me assume the makers had been making an attempt a variant of Sreenivasan’s humour right here. Even Ashokan’s characterisation turns out obviously influenced by way of Sreenivasan’s personal heroes—he’s darkish, brief, low on vanity, is awkward round ladies and desperately needs to get married. However the similarities finish there—there may be not anything quite intriguing or quirky about Ashokan, he’s extra a shadow of a wannabe Dineshan or Vijayan. Ashokan is somebody who sits by way of the pond however prefers to wash the usage of a bucket of water and mug. This, like the sooner advice of that lovely girl, is a nod to his courting with a early life good friend.
He has two buddies, Ratheesh and Shaiju, who’ve their very own transient again tales. In reality, Ratheesh’s (Krishna Shankar) fleeting romance is extra endearing than all of Ashokan’s personal trysts with ladies. Shaiju (Shine Tom Chacko) brags so much, and is separated from his spouse and kid. A cameo by way of Sunny Wayne, who seems together with his bride a lot to Ashokan’s chagrin, is adequately cringey. Even Dulquer Salmaan’s cameo can’t do a lot for this movie.
The feminine characters come throughout like temporary, gorgeous distractions. It starts with a ho-hum hallucinatory tune Ashokan has with a Muslim bride (Sid Sriram going haywire with the Olu tune), every other predictable bit round a woman who rejects him for his seems after which Shyama, the lady (Anupama Parameshwaran) he nearly finally ends up marrying. Shyama has a controlling father who thrashes her ceaselessly and she or he is used to it. One of the most dialogues did get my goat. Pattern this one between Shyama and Ashokan round their top distinction— “I’d relatively bend my head to have a look at you than pressure my neck to have a look at a man who’s taller than me”. It’s been some time since I’ve observed such unimaginative characters in Malayalam cinema.
The scenes the place Ashokan makes a decision to marry a plantain tree and will get strangely connected to it don’t seem to be very efficient, in part for the reason that makers don’t seem to be certain how one can deal with it. Must we empathise with him or chuckle at his catch 22 situation? That may be a catch 22 situation that continues to be consistent on this badly written movie. The intended emotional or funny jabs within the narrative by no means in point of fact hit you, and Ashokan’s plight begins to bore you nearly as quickly because it starts. Isn’t it prime time we get out of those ‘unmarried however determined to get hitched’ narratives?