Theevandi Review: an easy watch that won't disappoint you
Theevandi will work for you if you approach the film as a comedy about a chain smoker. The reason why I am saying this is because they have promoted it as a political satire and that aspect of the script isn’t that strong. With an organic screenplay that entertainingly captures the essence of humor, this movie from debutant Fellini is an easy watch that won't disappoint you.
Bineesh Damodaran is a chain smoker who now has a nickname Theevandi because of his smoking habit. His uncle was a heavy smoker and in a way a reason for this habit. The smoking became such an issue that Bineesh had to end his relationship with his girlfriend as she was fed up with rectifying him. Then came a scene in the political spectrum where the fate of a decision depended upon Bineesh’s willpower to resist his smoking tendency and how Bineesh goes through that is the content of Theevandi.
Vini Vishwa Lal who has previously scripted Second Show and Koothara sort of dilutes his typical harsh and misogynistic style of writing here. For me this dilution worked positively as the politics of his statements in previous films sounded a bit regressive. Fellini captures these moments Vini has written in the most pleasant way not reducing the kind of quirky fun the movie tries to showcase. The preachy feel is there discretely, but the realness in character behavior gives it a fresh feel.
Tovino seems to be interested in only playing likable bad boys. And the good thing about the actor is that within the niche he is giving a unique identity to each of those characters. Bineesh has shades of fear, roughness, and frustration and he has depicted that very neatly. Samyuktha Menon is indeed a promising talent. Except for one area in the interval where her character breaks down, everything else was performed confidently by the newcomer. Suraj Venjaramood delivers a really superb performance as the father in law. Saiju Kurup handles comedy nicely in his portrayal of the brother in law. Sudheesh appears in a never before seen avatar. Surabhi Lakshmi handled the humor nicely. Aneesh Gopal was also there along with actors who played the roles of Shwanan and CBI. Vijilesh, Shammi Thilakan, Rajesh Sharma, Neena Kurup are the other major names in the cast.
Mixing subtle and quirky comedy without overdoing any of it is the plus side Fellini’s direction. He manages to keep the movie in that engaging zone even when we can predict how things are going to go in the end. The script captures the arc of the smoker in an interesting way and the last quarter is preachy and catchy at the same time. It is sad to see a patriarchal audience reacting to an evolved writer’s creation. What the movie lacks is the blending of the satire into the narrative. The impact gets diverted as the narratives have a different feel. The music of the movie has a good range of compositions. The frames are fine with cuts that lack sync occasionally.
Theevandi is a nice relaxed watch. Even though the satiric angle of the story is brittle, there is enough genuine quirky humor there in the content to make you laugh and get invested in the movie.
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