An International Local Story (2019) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘An International Local Story’ is a sparsely funny attempt that will not have connoisseurs of comedies laughing their hearts away in merriment. Notwithstanding the efforts of its director, it hardly has anything on offer except a harmless chuckle or two that you might encounter on the way.


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Harisree Asokan’s directorial debut ‘An International Local Story’ astounds you on account of the inanity that overwhelms its plot, and the very serious lack of hilarity that is very naturally expected of it. An extended cinematic piece that is stitched up together with loose lying rags and pieces, ‘An International Local Story’ is a dud that drops down with a thud.

It all seems international, at least for the initial few minutes of the film, where the action is set at a seemingly spurious location which claims itself to be Malaysia. Not long lasting though, the film shifts its camera back home in Kerala, where it starts telling Dr. Rahul’s (Rahul Madhav) non-happening tale and thereafter starts sinking like a stone.

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It’s amazing, the kind of cast that Asokan has come up with for his debut film, and the screen literally teems with actors, who as enthusiastic as they might appear, are literally clueless as to why they have been positioned there in the first place. Accordingly, there is a whole lot of clamour that ensues, and deep inside it all sounds downright hollow.

What is most disappointing perhaps about ‘An International Local Story’ is that it falls really short on the one attribute that you surely expect of it, given that it’s a Harisree Asokan film – comedy. There is a severe scarcity when it comes to genuinely funny moments, and with scene after scene written to purposefully craft some laughter, all we are left with is a tangled mess with very little real amusement in it.

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So this is a film that thrives on all the easy beats, doles out plenty of predictive ideas and which keeps looking for a soul that could have helped, but which never appears. It’s a story that is built on add-ons; where after a point it becomes extremely tricky to determine which one belongs where, and of course, to what purpose!

What is perhaps most surprising is Asokan’s choice of a story for his first film making enterprise, and spread out real thin, the script appears too flimsy, to say the least. The comedic premise that the film employs has material that is all too unconvincing, and the attempted mix of the international and the local is unintentionally comical.

There is a desperateness visible throughout, on realizing that the USP of the film would be the mirth that it is expected to churn out in abundance. But despite all the efforts, all it manages to do is plod on from one scene to the next, and the laughs simply forget to show up!

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The cast, as has already been mentioned is quite elaborate, and Rahul Madhav leads the pack of actors that has such accomplished names as Innocent, Mala Parvathi, Bijukuttan, Manoj K Jayan, Jaffer Idukki, Salim Kumar, Nandu, Tini Tom, John Kaippallil, Suresh Krishna, Deepak Parambol, Kalabhavan Shajon,  Dharmajan Bolgatty, Baiju, Kunjan, Surabhi Santhosh, Mamita Baiju and Pauly Wilson, to mention a few!

‘An International Local Story’ is a sparsely funny attempt that will not have connoisseurs of comedies laughing their hearts away in merriment. Notwithstanding the efforts of its director, it hardly has anything on offer except a harmless chuckle or two that you might encounter on the way.


Verdict: Disappointing


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