Ambili Review: a movie that wants to spread positivity
The second film of Johnpaul George, Ambili is also an affecting tale of compassion similar to his debut outing Guppy. In terms of the ultimate feel, it gives to the audience also the movie is pretty similar to Guppy. Predictability is there for this feel-good script. But the warmth it provides to the viewers by urging them to understand the real affection makes Ambili an endearing experience.
Our title protagonist Ambili is a slow-witted person who is different from others due to his mental condition. His family friend is a cyclist and Ambili has an immense amount of love for him and he also wishes to be his best friend. But as Bobby grew older, he wasn’t comfortable with the way Ambili expresses his love. The movie Ambili ultimately shows us how Bobby understands Ambili’s care for him.
In some ways one can say that Ambili is a feel-good version Neelakasham Pachakkadal Chuvanna Bhoomi. Two friends are on a road trip on two two-wheelers and the self-realization part is also there in this film. There is even one scene that will remind you of the Bimalda sequence in NPCB. If NPCB was a gray and complex self-exploration journey, Ambili is a vibrant and humorous feel-good version of that same journey. For a majority of the movie’s runtime, you look at Ambili as a humorous and naïve character. But Johnpaul George exposes his inner pain only in the very end of the film and that works really well for the movie in creating the feel.
Soubin Shahir is the star here as the movie is very much a one-man show lead by him. The character of AMbili is really fragile that can go wrong very easily. But Soubin maintains the humor on a very sensible level. A majority of the movie uses a tweaked version of his usual comedy style, but it was the climax where he stunned the viewers with his ability to move us without changing too much from what he showed till that point. Naveen Nazim is used smartly by the director as he is mostly used without much dialogue as dialogue delivery was problematic. Tanvi Ram was really good as Teena even within that limited screen time of her character.
With Guppy and Ambili, one can definitely sense some patterns in the way Johnpaul George conceives script. His aim is to provide emotionally rich stories that follow characters in depth. We are given an idea about the surprising details of each character through mere counter dialogues. The humor he has created has a flow. And I sensed a template in his way of pitching the climax in an extremely musical manner similar to Guppy. Sharan Vijayan’s cinematography was wonderful and Kiran Das made the movie very engaging with his cuts. Vishnu Vijay’s music was a major support to this feel-good journey.
Ambili may not be a novel content when you look at the flaws like predictability, lack of grey, etc in the screenplay. But it is a movie that wants to spread positivity in a very subtle way. And in that aspect, Ambili is indeed a satisfying movie experience.
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