Role Models (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen

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‘Role Models’ neatly fritters away a talented cast and comes across as more galling than humorous. This is a missed opportunity for sure, and one that lacks any real spark or spur.


It’s a pretty jaundiced view that director Rafi’s new film ‘Role Models’ offers, and stuffed with trite notions it emerges anything but a model. It’s an indolent comedy that sparsely throws in a giggle here or a titter there, but the odd laugh simply isn’t enough to let it qualify as a film that is delightfully funny.

Gautham (Fahadh Faasil) has undergone an appalling transformation since his college days and his three besties – Rexi (Sharafudeen), Jyothi (Vinayakan) and Subahan (Vinay Fort) would like to find out why he has switched over from a dashing young man into a weird workaholic who keeps sipping from his water bottle.


Back in college, the four friends used to hang around with the tomboyish Christy (Srinda Arhaan) and even had a music band rocking the campus. An untoward incident leads to Rexi, Jyothi and Subahan being expelled from the college. While Gautham gets busy talking to the Google assistant and sipping and pissing, Rexi makes it big at his dad’s workshop, Jyothi runs a family and Subahan works his way up as a football coach.

The very vital prerequisite for a film as this to whip up that extra bit of fun, is its setting, and with Goa around, the film makers look no further. Turns out that Gautham’s ex-flame Shreya (Namitha Pramod) is an adventure sports instructor in the beach town, and off they go to discover what she’s been up to, all these years.


Post the half way point, you suddenly wonder if you were at the wrong station for starters, and had got on board the wrong train to boot. Turns out that the film is still the same, and it was just another misdirected tactic to lend some extra muscle to its male lead, that makes Gautham pull a hood over his head and start romping around like he has just come under the spell of a UFO.

As if all these weren’t enough, there is a psychiatrist who keeps stuffing pills down anybody who cares to pass by, his eccentric wife, a lame crook and  a loud news channel reporter hogging the scenes. Together, they make the film so unwieldy  that its awfully hard to see anything beyond the hyper banter.

The purportedly comic sequences also involve scenes that are plain repulsive.  Gautham’s dad (Renji Panicker) suspects that his son might be gay, and Rexi and Jyothi formulate an ingenious strategy to unearth the truth. Bare torsoed, they start prancing around Gautham, prodding him to reveal what exactly he is feeling at the moment.


There is the crucial moment where a comedy as this finally utters something sensible and in ‘Role Models’ it happens in the final scene, where Gautham runs into someone quite unforeseen on a boat, who in turn tells him that those who help lug someone out of distress is a role model. Which is probably why, the film gets its name. Phew.

For Fahadh, this seems like an extended vacation, and he looks like he exactly knows what he has landed himself in. Sharfudeen has the best moments in the film, and Namitha looks credible even in scenes that look and sound far from it. I have seen immensely better cinematography from Shamdat, and Gopi Sundar seems to have struck an almost blank note this time.

‘Role Models’ neatly fritters away a talented cast and comes across as more galling than humorous. This is a missed opportunity for sure, and one that lacks any real spark or spur.

Verdict: Coarse Comedy

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