Aravindante Athidhikal (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Aravindante Athidhikal’ has a plot that is very basic, but filled with characters that are lively enough to sustain viewer attention.  It might not be the most original movie ever either, but is a sweet retelling of a familiar tale, that still leaves a few giggles and a faint gulp down your throat.


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M Mohanan’s ‘Aravindante Athidhikal’ neither has an unrecounted tale to narrate, nor an earth-shaking innovation in store. It relies instead on some good old storytelling practices and generates an adorable account of the life of a highly agreeable youngster named Aravindan (Vineeth Sreenivasan),  set against the magnetic environs of the temple town of Kollur.

Aravindan, has forever remained under the guardianship of Madhavan (Sreenivasan), ever since his mother had abandoned him on the temple premises, when he was merely five years old. He has grown into a sprightly young man with a penchant to win hearts, and serves as a help at the dilapidated hotel run by Madhavan.

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When Varada (Nikhila Vimal) and her mom Girija (Urvasi) land at Kollur for the former’s dance arangettam,  Aravindan is quick to offer them accommodation at the hotel at discounted rates. Having struck up a warm rapport with Aravindan, a compassionate and curious Varada sets out to find where his mom had disappeared, eventually managing to trace her down.

There are moments aplenty in the former half that leaves a smile on your lips, and at least a few of which might have you chuckle away in glee. This is an affable lot that Mohanan and writer Rajesh Raghavan have sketched down for their film, and together, they are fun, jostling at each other and moving about in a merry-go-round of instances that keep you hooked throughout.

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The latter half starts off on a slightly jarring note with the introduction of a renowned danseuse (Sreejaya) and it even seems that the film might go off rail. It does however veer itself back to track and neatly sums it all up in a running time that lasts for just about two hours. The hilarity sees a sharp decline, but is more than compensated with a simplistic climax.

The abrupt ending is creditable, precisely because some finishes are best left as they are. Plenty of open queries remain, but the viewers are left with the alternative to design an answer that best suits their predicament.  There are the choices that the chief characters are yet to make – the ones that would certainly reorient their lives – and it nevertheless ends at an instant when it all looks so positive and promising.

For a film that tells such a proverbial tale, the depth that ‘Aravindante Athidhikal’ displays is surprising. There is plenty to delight and amuse in it, and it strikes you as a surprise that a film as this could overcome its inevitability by focusing instead on individual instances, many of which aren’t cast breaking, but unassumingly enjoyable.

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There is a vulnerability to Aravindan that Vineeth Sreenivasan brilliantly captures, and this has to be one of his best performances till date. Urvasi is back, and with a double bang, and brings the house down with her unparalleled comic timing. Nikhila Vimal is stunningly effective in a role that requires her to be slightly more than beautiful. And the supporting cast comprising of actors as Sreenivasan, Shanthi Krishna, Sreejaya, KPAC Lalitha, Prem Kumar, Aju Varghese, Bijukuttan and Kottayam Naseer are all perfectly reined; none of them going overboard, even for a minute.

‘Aravindante Athidhikal’ has a plot that is very basic, but filled with characters that are lively enough to sustain viewer attention.  It might not be the most original movie ever either, but is a sweet retelling of a familiar tale, that still leaves a few giggles and a faint gulp down your throat.


Verdict: Breezy Watch


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