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Bollywood Movie Reviews

Pranaye Vilasam , Ambitious But Too Vanilla 



Pranaye Vilasam(Malayam, Zee5)
Rating: ** ½

Nikhil Muraly’s likeable but  finally  powerless Malayalam rom-com(for the  want  of a better term) is  filled with   ambitious emotions which never come to any fruition. It is  a fidgety film weaving like a restless child in a toyshop,  in and out of characters and their lives so that we don’t really know  much about them except that something terrible is  going to  happen soon.

The death  of  the matriarch Anusree  draws Sooraj (Arjun Ashokan) and his father Rajeevan(Manoj K.U) together , like Prakash Raj and Dhanush in that wonderful Tamil film ThiruchitrambalamPranaye Vilasam  lacks the genuine warmth of that other film about a troubled father-son relationship. Everything happens  too suddenly in Pranaye Vilasam. It isn’t all pleasant  unexpectedness. Often times  it feels laboured hurried and synthetic.

When  Rajeevan and Sooraj  lose the most precious person in their life they set out on a road trip where their mutual crisis is swiftly repaired and the  plot quickly seeks  other points of conflict, and   encounters deadends each time.

Pranye Vilasam  doesn’t lack heart. It lacks tact. It wants to tell a heartwarming story of self-discovery  through a death in family, but seems  clueless as to how find it way to  the  core of the tragedy . In the absence of a centre, the storytelling loses its bearings and flits from one  unconvincing adventure to another.

Why, for example, would  the father-son set off to meet Anushree’s  secret love of which they get to know through her (secret) diary? What sense does this make? So okay,the mother was in love with another man before marriage.Many are. So what?! Rather than  cremating this secret with Anushree, Rajeevan and Sooraj  become a  part of a highly embarrassing meeting with Anushree’ s past  love Vinod who plays  football and behaves  like nothing ever happened.

I am not sure what the  father-son get out of this meeting. Or what we get from an unwanted  flashback where we  are told why Vinod ditched Anushree’s  elopement plans .

These are  characters  who  just don’t know what to do with the  freedom that the breezy plot provides them.They  seem  so lost in their  makebelieve world of problems that arise from their  inability to move on.

We  do just that, move on,  after  watching the film. A pity, as there are characters and situations  in the plot worth  knowing . If only the narrative stayed more focused on what was relevant.

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