Kalyanam (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Kalyanam’ makes a celebration of being lost in its formulaic twirls, and forces an unabashed repetition of household instances from a dozen romantic capers of yore. It’s a pretty tiresome marriage, as my fellow spectator insists, one of which, the jubilations are very unlikely to last long.


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Halfway through ‘Kalyanam’, a friend sitting nearby mumbles that he had ever held on to the belief that marriages could wreak havoc on your otherwise peaceful lives, and waits for my nod of assent. When he fails to trace one, he resignedly leans back on his seat and meekly adds that he never had the faintest inkling that films on marriages could do worse.

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Marriage or no marriage, ‘Kalyanam’ is a no-show from Rajesh Nair, the kind that makes you reach out to the film maker who gifted us with that tiny gem called ‘Salt Mango Tree’ give him a tight hug and whisper to him that all is well with the world.  Sometimes you end up making mistakes, and ‘Kalyanam’ comes across as a gross error with a bit too many cross marks than the ticks all over it, but at the end of the day, it’s right there, gaping right back at you despite all its disarray.

‘Kalyanam’ displays an audacity to pull out an all too common romantic thread of a boy (Shravan Mukesh) who has been roaming around with stars in his eyes, ever since he had set them first on a girl who also happens to be a neighbour, who also happens to be a childhood sweetheart,  who also happens to be oblivious of all his affection that seems to be overflowing in abundance, and who also is all set to be married.

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Every time a yawn springs to your mouth, you stifle it in all earnestness and tell yourself that you are the one who doesn’t deserve to be pardoned, if you had walked in with the loftiest of anticipations. This is a film that is quite unapologetic about the familiarity of its content, and why else would they have it screaming from the rooftops that it’s a ‘clichéd love story’ that claims to be hardly anything else?

And this is why ‘Kalyanam’ is material for a confounding study; one where one could cautiously dissect how it is that with an appalling deficiency of an actual story, a film could still cook up a running time of about a couple of hours! And it is here that the film maker dons the garb of a magician who waves his wand in the air and has two pigeons appear out of thin air, fluttering away to glory.

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These are the sketches and situations that require you to raise your hand every time you come across one you have previously been witness to, and there comes a point when you can barely put your hand down. No frowning of course and no questions asked, and the ones who have been looking around on the floor for a plot for about an hour now, may as well be ordered to go by-heart that tag line once again. Now.

Given the way some actors have emerged to be the kind of tremendous performers that they eventually have evolved into despite a very pedestrian debut, it would be foolhardiness to judge Shravan Mukesh in his very first film. As of now though, Shravan looks a bit too lost on shaky ground as Sharath, and there aren’t that many emotions that he seems to be handling all too well, except perhaps sheepiness and another slightly vague one that requires him to flood his eyes with love. Varsha Bollamma who plays Shari, the pretty lass that he is expected to be all enamoured with, looks good, making it apparent that there is little else that is expected of her.

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‘Kalyanam’ also has a huge supporting cast with names as Sreenivasan, Mukesh, Hareesh Kanaran, Jacob Gregory, Maala Parvathy, Dharmajan Bolgatty and Asha Aravind just to mention a few, and even as it would probably be impossible to find fault with their individual performances, together they serve little more than a boisterous crowd that has gone totally berserk.

‘Kalyanam’ makes a celebration of being lost in its formulaic twirls, and forces an unabashed repetition of household instances from a dozen romantic capers of yore. It’s a pretty tiresome marriage, as my fellow spectator insists, one of which, the jubilations are very unlikely to last long.


Verdict: Marriage Mediocre


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