I can’t review this film until I know what it’s about. As it is, this is more an attempt to understand the film than a review of it.

There is a lot to praise here. Vinod Sukumaran is a patient director. He has the confidence to just set the camera and let the actors act. There are no flashy cuts or editing tricks. There is no need for them. The actors, and the director are good enough to make it work without resorting to cheap tricks.

But, then what went wrong?

It takes a special kind of film to make the audience start whistling and openly mocking it just 20 minutes in. No one in the theatre liked it. By the end it was practically an MST3K episode with every line of dialogue being met with derisive laughter or sarcastic comments. I’m glad, though. I found the audience reaction more fun than the movie.

The story, told through a series of flashbacks, is about a couple (Fahadh Faasil, Radhika Apte) who are going through their divorce. They met in Bangalore, fell in love, married, moved to Kerala, grew apart, and due to irreconcilable differences (a term that’s a little overused in the movie), separated. It happens.

There’s a subplot that occasionally intersects with the main story. It’s about a local thug who’s searching for a lost antique gun. Then there’s the woman he’s in love with who works as a body double for an actress in films of a bluish tint.

There is some attempt made at using these two disparate plot lines to comment on the current state of women’s rights and liberation which is one of the major themes of the movie. Thing is themes work best when they’re subtle. This film is about as subtle with it’s themes as Dragonball Z is with it’s power levels. The film seems to be trying to make a point, though I’m not sure what.

Ideas such as women’s liberation in the IT world, communism vs individual aspirations, social justice, are all thrown around a lot in the film. But that’s all there is. There is no attempt at exploring these ideas in depth. So, when the characters talk endlessly about these issues, it comes across as pretentious.

Really at the end of the day, that’s the word that I come back to. It all seems pretentious. I don’t think that’s the intent but then, no one tries to be pretentious.

I’m still looking forward to the director’s next film and if you ask me, I’d suggest you do the same.

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