‘Varshangalkku Shesham’ movie review: Vineeth Sreenivasan’s humour holds together this ode to cinema and friendship

A scene from ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’

Drawing from his ample experience, Vineeth Sreenivasan seems prepared for the critiques post-release of his films. With his latest directorial venture, Varshangalkku Shesham, he takes the offensive with unexpected self-deprecation. However, such humor doesn’t signal a departure from his trademark approach. After poking fun at his previous work, Vineeth comfortably retreats into the well-trodden territory of nostalgia and bliss in Chennai.

The narrative focuses on the bond between Venu (Dhyan Sreenivasan), an ambitious screenplay writer and director, and Murali (Pranav Mohanlal), an artist of music. Reminiscent of the 70s, they venture to Madras driven by dreams to succeed in the movie world. They’re met with fluctuating fortunes, receiving acclaim and setbacks alike.

Vineeth endeavors to explore the journey of strangers navigating the ruthless film industry. It’s somewhat ironic, considering the actors portraying these characters are well-established in the industry. The heart of Varshangalkku Shesham lies in the evolving relationship between these two individuals amidst the backdrop of a changing cinematic landscape. Nonetheless, the narrative falters in engagement due to underdeveloped character conflicts.

Varshangalkku Shesham

Director: Vineeth Sreenivasan

Cast: Pranav Mohanlal, Dhyan Sreenivasan, Nivin Pauly, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Neeta Pillai

Storyline: Two friends from Kerala venture to Madras in the 1970s, aspiring to make their mark in the movie industry.

Runtime: 165 minutes

Murali’s character, who disdains mainstream cinema music yet mourns lost opportunities, comes across as contradictory. Yet, the film finds its stride in the latter half with a lighter tone, and Vineeth’s comedic flair surfaces triumphantly.

Nivin Pauly’s dynamic presence, complemented by Basil Joseph, boosts the film immensely. Playing Nithin Molly, a self-absorbed actor in desperate need of a box office success, Nivin confronts and embraces the very critiques that social media hurls at him. Aside from a few objectionable portrayals of celebrity interactions with female admirers, his segments are a delight. Dhyan also delivers poignantly in the film’s more heartfelt moments, thanks to Vineeth’s direction, revitalizing both their careers.

A scene from ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’

A scene from ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’

Throughout the film, one finds earnest if on-the-nose, tributes to actors who remained true to their artistic convictions. The movie is filled with clever nods to the industry and classic cinema. Despite musician Amrit Ramnath’s valiant efforts to deepen emotional resonance through his orchestral compositions, the narrative’s superficial conflicts undermine his achievements.

Concerning contemporary sequences, the makeup on the actors doesn’t entirely convince, with the exception of Dhyan’s convincingly aged appearance. The female leads, portrayed by Kalyani Priyadarshan and Neeta Pillai, are unfortunately relegated to minimal performance opportunities.

Varshangalkku Shesham ultimately emerges as a heartfelt tribute to the world of cinema and the bonds of friendship. The movie’s comedic highlights not only save it but occasionally lift it above its potential shortcomings.

Varshangalkku Shesham is now playing in theaters.

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