SREERAG KAKKATTU | Published on Thu 27 Sep 2018 10:51 AM IST
Have you ever had an experience when a stranger pried into your affairs or stalked you? Have you ever had to sit through a lecture on morality when it comes to a friendship or relationship with people of opposite gender? Have you ever had travelled to a strange place with your partner and felt like you're being followed by someone? If yes, then ‘Varathan’ might be your story.
Amal Neerad is a director known for his experimentation with cinematography in his films, as he is one of the finest cinematographers in the country. ‘Varathan’ is not different from this as the film offers a visual treat to the viewers.
The movie revolves around Abin (Fahad Fazil) and Priya (Aishwarya Lakshmi), a Keralite couple based in Dubai. The couple goes through hard times as Abin loses his job and Priya goes through a miscarriage; the couple decides to return to Priya’s native place in Kerala. This is where, things get interesting as their journey to Kerala becomes a nightmare-turned-into-reality immediately. ‘Varathan’ is a brilliantly executed thriller which explores the hypocrisies and lust within people. There have been several recent movies in Malayalam which dealt with the topic of moral policing like the Mammootty-starrer ‘Uncle’, however, Varathan takes it one notch up with revenge as the central theme of the movie. Fahad Fazil, has delivered a brilliant performance as always but Aishwarya Lakshmi outperforms Fahad in several scenes. The whole movie is focused on her character and she has much more to deliver than Fahad, who has not much to do till the second half, still the way he breathes life into the character and his eye movements in close-up shots are commendable.
Sharafudheen, Vijilesh and Arjun Ashokan also have also delivered decent performances with their negative roles.
On the negative side, the script is very predictable, therefore the movie tends to depend only on the visualization of the climax. The background music at the end, kind of, glorifies the masculinity that dominates the film. Eventhough, Aishwarya makes a mark in the end, Fahad steals the show as the script sidelines Aishwarya for a good amount of time in the end. The movie is a perfect example where it uses feminism just for marketing while it actually follows all the patriarchal cliché that has been followed throughout the years - the myth that a woman needs a man for her protection.
In typical Amal Neerad style, in the climax there is slow motion, enthralling background and captivating cinematography, but the question is how come such a transformation happen for the protagonist who had been very laid-back throughout the first half? Fahad's character transformation Abin isn't completely convincing.
Camera is handled by Little Swayamp and music handled by Sushin Shyam. Both of them have done decent jobs. However, editor Vivek Harshan should be specially mentioned as the movie throughout is steered by him.
Overall, Varathan is an entertainer, which has its flaws, and political incorrectness. But still, it's worth a watch just for its making and the one-man show of Fahadh Faasil in the end.