French Viplavam (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


K B Maju’s ‘French Viplavam’ is a rebellion gone all awry, though it dabbles with a theme that holds plenty of contemporary significance. Satire is what the film has in mind, but what it ultimately turns out to be is a drab cinematic piece that has neither the vigour nor the vitality that characterizes a raging revolution.


french-viplavam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

K B Maju’s ‘French Viplavam’ is a rebellion gone all awry, though it dabbles with a theme that holds plenty of contemporary significance. Satire is what the film has in mind, but what it ultimately turns out to be is a drab cinematic piece that has neither the vigour nor the vitality that characterizes a raging revolution.

Kochukadavu is where the action of ‘French Viplavam’ takes place, and it’s the nineties that have seen the arrack ban, that has dropped several of the loyal arrack users into doldrums of misery.  Kochukadavu is no different, and several of its residents have been hit hard by the non-availability of the local drink.

french-viplavam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

This is a film that is not merely inspired by Lijo Jose Pellissery and his films that have set a mark of their own; it even appears obsessed to the point of having carried over a faint LJP hangover on to its frames. Do not be startled if you start wondering if ‘Amen’ has shifted base to Kochukadavu, but the parallels in appearance soon wear off, and ‘French Viplavam’ strikes you as a film that has none of the soul stirring intensity that most of the LJP films could easily boast of.

There is an extensive line up of characters in ‘French Viplavam’ and together they make a crowd that is all noisy. It’s another matter altogether that very little of the clamour actually is realized into something productive and at the end of all the hullabaloo that emanates, there are hardly any unforgettable scenes that remain.

french-viplavam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

There is a customary statutory warning of sorts that is displayed right at the beginning of the film that suggests that over thinking could be detrimental to your appreciation of the film. This is kind of a justification – a lame defence –  for all the follies that follow suit, and very soon, you shut down your thought box and let things simply be.

Too much of a chaos does not necessarily a fascinating situation make, and while characters rush about on the screen jostling each other out and hoping to earn oneself a bit of a screen time, ‘French Viplavam’ comes across as a jam-packed family portrait, with members falling out of the edges of the photograph and the ones that remain looking all wobbly and uncertain of themselves.

The alcohol ban in the state that has even recently been refurbished and rejected by different political parties does make an excellent subject for political and social satire. But it has been watered down in ‘French Viplavam’ and hardly scratches beyond the skin of the issue, refusing to probe down any further beyond the peripheral humor that lies on the top.

french-viplavam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

Sunny Wayne is good without doubt, and so are several other actors in ‘French Viplavam’, be it Chemban Vinod Jose, Sasi Kalinga, Thampanoor Suresh, Pouly Wilson, Unnimaya Parasad or Lal. But this is a film that requires very little of their acting prowess and if actors as Unnimaya stand apart despite the heavy weights imposed on them by the script, its thanks to their indomitable potential and nothing else.

The characters in the film are nothing but stereotypes and even the context after a while starts appearing as make-believe. The potential of its political premise is hardly explored by ‘French Viplavam’ and the satire in it hence lacks the much-needed bite.


Verdict: Tiresome


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