Tiyaan (2017) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


At the end of an extremely long narration, vice is vanquished and righteousness triumphs. And you look back at it and what you see is an overly self indulgent film that never really knew where to knock it off, and which has instead evolved into an easily foreseeable experience that is obsessed with its own importance.


Tiyaan-Malayalam-Movie-Review-Veeyen

A bunch of Aghori sanyasis carry a tremendously worn out Aslan Mohammed (Prithviraj) away, and nurses him back to life through a spiritual curative session. Back on his feet, Aslan is briefed on his resurrection by the sadhu, and  as the conversation ends, Aslan murmurs Namah Shivaya. Allahu Akbar, promptly retorts the sadhu.

Jeeyen Krishnakumar’s ‘Tiyan’ is sated with instances galore that attempt to shove these puffed up statements on the oneness of humanity down your throat. Preachy, pretentious and predictable by turns, ‘Tiyaan’ is a film that sets out to be something and by the end of its running time grows into something else.

Krishnakumar’s vision of a colossal film of truly epic proportions is dimmed by a scriptthat  almost seems to be bursting at the seams with effusive banter on religious concord. For a while it even sounds and seems like a candid rampage against an extreme right wing political agenda. Very soon though, it becomes blatantly obvious that this is a film that would find it tough to keep its head high above a deadweight of cultural verbiage.

Tiyaan-Malayalam-Movie-Review-Veeyen

‘Tiyaan’ tells a story that is as primordial as time itself – the never-ending duel between right and wrong – and throws in religion to cover up its banality under layers of ostentatious dialogues. Nothing and no one is actually left out, and you even have a tiny little girl whispering Tat Twam Asi, as someone else blares on about Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Pattabhiramagiri (Indrajith) is a Brahmin priest, who realizes that he will soon be usurped from his land at Ghagrawadi, if he does not give in to the demands of Mahashay Bhagwan (Murli Gopy), a demigod of immense stature and power who has decided to set up an Ashram there. Left alone in the face of adversity, Giri wages a losing battle and feebly stands in watch as Mahashay Bhagwan unleashes his fury over anyone who dares to cross his path.

Tiyaan-Malayalam-Movie-Review-Veeyen

Just when you thought Aslan probably deserved a bit more of the screen, the plot shifts to the slums of Behrampada, where the young man ruled as a good hearted don, several years back. Gang wars and rivalries rule the streets of Mumbai, as Aslan, the man with fists of iron apparently, sends his opponents flying against bhel puri shacks, egg racks, flower stands, STD booths and car windows.

There is a mystical element that is brought in that links the tales of Aslan and Pattabhiramagiri together. Aslan grabs Giri by the arm, infusing an astounding power in him that lets him overpower his adversaries in no time. What is interesting is that there is no denying the star hierarchy that exists, and this instance surprisingly looks like a parody, where a more established and popular star transports some of his stardom on to another, that permits the latter to perform a miracle of his own.

A false sense of intensity pervades throughout the film which is further worsened by sententious speeches that appear one after the other. The point that the film tries to arrive at becomes quite apparent in less than thirty minutes, and the rest of it is merely a laborious reaffirmation, delivered through kitsch modalities.

Tiyaan-Malayalam-Movie-Review-Veeyen

It’s extremely difficult to understand why someone like Prithviraj, Padmapriya or Prakash Bare would agree to do a film as ‘Tiyaan’. Here are three brilliant actors who have impressed us time and again, and in ‘Tiyaan’, they merely serve to illustrate how even the finest of performers could be fraught by a pedestrian script. Indrajith makes the best of the screen time that he is offered, and Murli Gopy does infinitely better on screen this time around, than he does off screen.

‘Tiyaan’ nevertheless is a visually imposing film, and Satheesh Kurup emphasizes on the vastness of the locales, as if adding on to the inherent philosophical tone of the piece. Gopi Sundar jam-packs his background score with Sanskrit mantras and chants and does a balancing act by wedging in Arabic verses, as the rest of the film does.

At the end of an extremely long narration, vice is vanquished and righteousness triumphs. And you look back at it and what you see is an overly self indulgent film that never really knew where to knock it off, and which has instead evolved into an easily foreseeable experience that is obsessed with its own importance.


Verdict: Disappointing


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