Mandharam (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Mandharam’ has very little special in it, despite the individual charms of all its actors. Scratching not much deeper than the surface of its characters, it’s a film that fails to find its own voice, forget its fragrance. 


mandharam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

Vijesh Vijay’s film ‘Mandharam’ is as mystified as its chief protagonist Rajesh (Asif Ali), who hasn’t been too lucky when it comes to love. Vijesh plants the camera on a young Rajesh’s face as he watches all in amazement, Unnikrishnan forcing Gaadha to utter the celebrated ‘I Love You’ proclamation in Priyadarshan’s ‘Vandanam’, and soon after the film, the boy sets out to find the significance of the phrase.

A few consultations with an embarrassed father and an annoyed mother over, Rajesh turns to his grand dad, who finally reveals the secret. Pointing at a Mandharam plant on the courtyard that is all abloom, the older man states that love is all about how the white flowers had come into being; of how nature warrants that the tiny green buds burst open into a delicate design of elongated white petals.

mandharam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

The first love, as is quite often the case, arrives and leaves soon after, leaving Rajesh heartbroken. The grand dad offers a piece of advice for free – to not leave the key to his happiness  in someone else’s packet. Rajesh abides by the golden rule, but far away from home at an engineering college in Bangalore, could love be kept at bay?

A brawl at a college nearby, lands Rajesh on Charu’s (Varsha Bollama) feet , and he starts loyally following her around. These are long walks indeed, and after one, two and three jogging jaunts with the girl, one realizes how perilously stretched out and thin this script has turned into. Charu unplugs the earphones from her ears every now and then to listen to Rajesh chirping along, and you wouldn’t really blame her for deciding to opt for the music.

mandharam-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

Love does not strike. Or perhaps it does. The point is, by half way time, ‘Mandharam’ had moved far away beyond the mushy realms of romance, and has assumed the figure of a bloated balloon that looks ready to burst any moment. The narrative crow drops in a character right in the midst of all this tedium – Roshan (Arjun Nandhakumar) – who vanishes almost as hastily as he had appeared, after a digression that serves simply to while away a few more minutes.

What does one do when you finally see that the woman you had dreamt of spending the rest of your life with has just snuggled into an auto rickshaw and has disappeared round the corner. There are a few options of course, but the awaragardi, preferably on the banks of the Ganges, is almost mandatory these days.

The silver lining on this almost washed out cloud appears in the form of Devika (Anarkali Marikar) who drives a Yamaha bike. Looks pretty sturdy, the gal, you think, and then she goes all doe eyed and weak kneed when that atrocious wig that Rajesh sports, makes an appearance round the corner. Well, these are all lovelorn humans, after all.

There is a pretty impressive star cast, with Asif Ali leading the pack, and with Jacob Gregory, Arjun Ashokan, Ganesh Kumar, Arjun Nandhakumar and a few others lending support. Varsha Bollama makes a decent appearance and Anarkali Marikar zooms past in a jiffy. And there is also a cameo by yesteryear actor Nandini, to boot.

‘Mandharam’ has very little special in it, despite the individual charms of all its actors. Scratching not much deeper than the surface of its characters, it’s a film that fails to find its own voice, forget its fragrance.


Verdict: Jaded Romance


Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *