French Viplavam Review: beta version of a good comedy satire
You can't really sideline French Viplavam from debutante Maju KB as a tacky film. The writing of this movie has lost grip considerably and yet there is something in the making that grabs your attention. This movie is almost like the beta version of any great comedy satire. The loudness of the plot is fun to watch, but the untidy nature of the plot makes a mess here.
After the Arrack ban in Kerala, the drunkards of a particular village are struggling to find other stuff that can replace it. And in that context, our hero Sathyan is also finding it difficult to marry the girl he loves as her father objected the relationship. But in the middle of all that, a French wine comes and disrupts the calmness. How that wine plays a key role in Sathyan’s love story is what French Viplavam dealing with.
The emphasis the director Maju has given to each scene needs an appreciation. Characters might be mumbling and doing household things and even all that will make sense if you observe it carefully. There are many such scenes in this satirical comedy that will make you appreciate the making style of this movie. The problem is the overblown script that explores too much and makes it look widespread unnecessarily. Yes, we will easily realize that it is a logic-free scenario, but the amalgamation of all the events in the movie isn’t totally convincing.
Sunny Wayne acts in a different from his usual style and that does help the character of Sathyan in being real. He has got the grip over the character. Lal was in a familiar zone and yet his eccentricity was in total sync with the script. Navas Vallikkunnu was hilarious and Unnnimaya Prasad was really convincing. Chemban Vinod Jose was good in a pointless character. Everyone in the elaborate star cast did justice to their characters.
Maju KB has associated with Lijo Jose Pellissery in Ee Ma Yau and in French Viplavam you can clearly sense that influence in his making. From single long takes to quirky humor, there is an LJP texture all over the film. This obviously makes it look interesting and also reduces the originality. The lack of clarity in the conflict as it changes frequently was a major drawback for this script. The way this movie deviates to subplots and additional characters wasn’t adding much to the plot rather than making the movie a little more lengthy. The character offered to Chemban is a good example of that. The cinematography was nice. Music and background score were atypical.
With a crispier and tidier script, French Viplavam could have been that sarcastic satiric movie one would have really enjoyed. The overwritten satire here even forgets to capitalize on its political points and it is a bit tough to root for the madness when the fun isn’t that high.
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