G.Prajith’s Oru Vadakkan is about Umesh Manohar (Nivin Pauly), Shaji (Aju Varghese) and Thankaprasad (Neeraj Madhav) whose daily routine consists of just drinking, having fun, watching movies, and trying to woo girls. For them, it’s all fun and no work. When Umesh’s father tries to force him to join him at his grocery shop, Umesh runs away from his home and gets on a train to Chennai where he plans to pursue a career in film-making. While on the train he meets Daisy (Manjima Mohan) a girl from his village. While all his attempts to woo her fail, he takes a selfie with her without her knowing and sends it to Shaji who spreads around the information that Umesh has run away with Daisy to Chennai to get married. When Umesh returns from Chennai, he gets to know about the lies Shaji has spread and threatens to expose him to the public. So, Shaji accompanies Umesh to another trip to Chennai to find Daisy, where they meet Jack Tracker (Vineeth Srinivasan), a private detective. They hire him and soon they find Daisy, but then, they uncover a web of lines and a road trip across Tamil Nadu is set into motion to uncover the truth behind this.
By the way I have described the plot people will think it is embedded with spoilers, that is why I informed beforehand that this review is depraved of spoilers. If you have read the whole plot synopsis I have typed, then your basic perception will be that this is some cliche ridden Malayalam with no heart. Believe me, it’s not !
The story begins as it should. As an entertainer. Making us acquainted with its hilarious and unique style was a great move. Very very unique is this movie. Nivin Pauly is natural. Everytime I see him on screen, I forget he is acting. He is the Hugh Grant of Indian cinema. If you go look up Hugh Grant’s Wikipedia page, the following is the description about the actor :- ‘Hugh Grant approaches his roles like a character actor and attempts to make his acting appear spontaneous. Hallmarks of his comic skills include a nonchalant touch of irony or sarcasm and studied physical mannerisms as well as his precisely-timed dialogue delivery and facial expressions.’
Isn’t that exactly how you would describe Nivin Pauly ? In my opinion, Hugh Grant is one of the greatest actors ever born, and Nivin Pauly is well on the road to become one. Many people may stereotype him. Say that he just does the same thing over and over again ? But everytime he does it, isn’t he well under the skin of his character ? Dialogues are nothing but things that we say ever day. But the way he presents them in such a spontaneous way and with perfect timing ! It doesn’t err in a single scene. It is always enjoyable too see him in the same character over and over again.
Aju Varghese is another person is this movie who has super comic timing. He is in for the fun, and like hell does he give it to the audience. He is superb. Manjima too is very good. Vineeth Srinivasan is not perfect in his comic timing in this movie. I later came to understand that he is made for dramatic roles, not comic ones. This is very apparent in the later half of the movie, when it exposes its emotional core.
MY ROUTINE TOMORROW :
6 : 00 – WAKE UP
6 : 17 – GET OFF THE BED
6 : 25 – START TO BATHE
6 : 45 – WAKE UP FROM SLEEP IN THE BATHROOM
7 : 10 – GET READY FOR SCHOOL
7 : 15 – CLIMB THE SCHOOL BUS LIKE TOM CRUISE IN ROGUE NATION
7 : 20 – STRANGLE MY FRIEND FOR SAYING THAT THIS MOVIE’S CLIMAX SUCKS
As the movie began, everyone around me was like this is the same shit over and over again. Everybody thought this wasn’t going to end well. A great man once said ‘To say a message, be funny and not gritty’. Since, that quote sucks so badly, you have surely figured that it was said by me, but it holds truth for this movie.
Engaging is the only word that I can use too describe this. It takes its time to set up things considering it is so complicated on paper. And then it begins. Oru Vadakkan Selfie is just like ice in its nature. Ice melts from solid to the form it actually was before, a liquid. This movie is in its heart a drama, it is just given shades of comedy. The hilarity starts to wane off gradually, but still keeps the audience engaged with its occasional one-liners.
And this movie also acted as a litmus paper for judging many of my friends, because it proved many of them are idiots. Almost all of them hated the ending. Why ? Because they can’t appreciate something which has a meaningful end. A socially-prevalent message had crept into this movie without our knowing and is conveyed beautifully in the movie’s climax. And for the first time, the leads don’t get together. It brings such maturity to the table unseen in Malayalam cinema for a very very long time. And the cinematographer deserves a special mention because the movie is visually arresting.
While being a successful comic caper, Oru Vadakkan Selfie is in its heart a beautiful mature drama which delivers a very strong message to the audience at the climax without downplaying it in any way and is definitely a must-watch.
Rating : 9.3 / 10
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