Movie - Apoorvaragam (Malayalam)
Director - Sibi Malayil
Producer - Siyad Koker
Cast - Nishan, Asif Ali, Nithya Menen, Santosh Jogi, Vinay, Shruti Menon, etc.
Music - Vidyasagar
Cinematography - Ajayan Vincent
Background Score - Bijibal
Art Director - Prasanth Madhav
Editor - Bijith Bala
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - GS Anand, Najeem Koya
Release Date - 16th July 2010
Apoorvaragam is the classic case of an idea sounding great on paper, but turning into a disaster when translated on to the screen. Touted to be the comeback vehicle of veteran director Sibi Malayil, the film fails to engage you despite having an interesting plot. When a middle-aged person 'tries' to make a 'youth' film, it ends up being his/her perspective of the youth and their lives. So the young people act according to how he thinks they should act, not like how they would behave actually. The film, promoted excessively as the next defining, youth film, disappoints tremendously.
It tells the story of Roopesh (Nishan), Tomy (Asif) and Nancy (Nithya). Roopesh and Tomy are two lonely souls in the college, without any friends. They try to befriend Nancy and her gang, and Roopesh gradually reveals his love for Nancy and Nancy also falls for him (very conveniently). After a silly song and some romance, things start getting complicated, when Nancy's father gets calls giving information about his daughter from none other than Roopesh's best friend Tomy. Nancy and Roopesh register their marriage at a registrar office and knowing this, her dad gets royally disturbed. What happens after he meets Roopesh and Tomy forms the rest of the story.
The film starts as a usual so-called 'campus' film with students who never go to class, who sing gibberish in the name of songs, and do break dance in groups in the college campus. (All these became outdated in the 90s itself). Then a slight romance is added and pretty soon, an element of suspense is brought. But the pre-interval scene, which is supposed to be a shocker, doesnt really come across as one. But still, even when the first half ends, you still feel that the movie has some potential. From then on, the movie keeps giving twists and more twists, until a point where it gets totally irritating. And the worst part is that one can already sense those twists, and there's no surprise when those twists come in the movie. The climax is the most terrible of them all, and is unintentionally funny.
Nishan who impressed with his performance in Shyamaprasad's Rithu, gives a very confused performance here. He had to do the same things in the initial college portions of the movie, but when his character underoges a change, he becomes a complete failure. A person who does not know the language can hardly carry off the lead role of the film very easily, especially when his character goes through a lot of changes. Asif Ali performs much better than Nishan, but he also ends up overacting towards the climax. He has everything going for him - looks, acting, screen presence, but his voice is a big minus. (Just like Jayam Ravi in Tamil). He has to do something about it before getting into the big league. Nithya is the most beautiful leading lady we have seen on the Malayalam screen in a long long time. She has proved that she's a very good performer earlier itself. But in this one, she also overacts in the climax, after being restrained throughout the movie. Vinay, who also appeared in Rithu, gives a fantastically bad performance, where he had to be the strongest of them all. Even Sharath's good dubbing can't save him. The man who played Nancy's dad, made the movie worth watching with his extremely funny acting. The scenes where he cries are gems. I dont know why Shammi Thilakan agreed to dub for him. They could have actually cast Shammi Thilakan in that role instead of him. I'm sure he would have done a deadly job. The guy who played the comic sidekick Firoze in college, was the only good performer among the newbies. The late Santosh Jogi comes in an impressive cameo.
The way the three leading men behave looks extremely pretentious and wannabe. They're supposed to be cool dudes who dont care about anything or anyone around them. But their trademark gestures and stuff look far from being cool. Their interactions look like they have some orientation problems. Extremely weak characterizations and situations kill the movie in the second half, after a watchable first half.
Vidyasagar's music is bad!! Period. The composer who used to make out-of-the-world songs once upon a time disappoints completely here and reminds us of his and Sibi Malayil's glorious past each time Nancy's ringtone 'Ethrayo Janmamayi' is heard in the movie. The only good song in the movie is the promotional song 'Athira' done by Bijibal who has also done a great job with background score. But the straight rip-off from 'Fashion Ka Jalwa' during the fashion show scenes could have been avoided. Ajayan Vincent's camerawork is great and is one of the few positive aspects of the film. He gives some really interesting frames and angles in the movie, making it visually appealing. Prasanth Madhav's artwork also supports the visual appeal of the movie.
On the whole, Apoorvaragam is a massive disappointment from the veteran who gave us gems ranging from Mutharamkunnu PO to Ishtam. Despite having an interesting plot, he failed to bring it out effectively on screen, thus making the movie a tedious watch. Hope he comes back with a bang the next time around, with a subject more suitable to his style of filmmaking.
Rating - 2/5