Vimaanam (2017) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


An honourable try without doubt, but one which is strangely superficial, ‘Vimaanam’ strives to be exuberant, but turns out to be sluggish instead. A film that has its heart all over the place, this is an airplane that takes a while to take off, and which when it finally does, struggles to smoothly touch ground again.


vimaanam-review

Pradeep M Nair’s ambitious venture ‘Vimaanam’, drawing its inspiration from the life of a man who dreamt of taking it to the skies in his own airplane, gets lost in a manic whirl of characters, losing focus in the process. For all its earnest efforts, ‘Vimaanam’ ends up a bungled piece with some dissonantly warbled notes strewn all around.

Venkidi has a hearing impairment, which makes him the butt of many a joke, and school isn’t great fun. Unable to take the name-calling any more, Venkidi leaves school and joins as an apprentice at his uncle’s (Sudheer Karamana) workshop, where he nurtures his vision of building an airplane. Growing up, Venkidi (Prithviraj) strikes up an allegiance with the talkies-man Roger (Alencier Lay), and together the two get to work, to lend wings to his dreams.

vimaanam-review

Comparisons are bound to arise with ‘Aby’ (2017, Srikant Murali), that released earlier this year, and which tackled a very similar theme. Murali’s film in itself was far from a fulfilling cinematic experience, and yet, in comparison to ‘Vimaanam’, it shines, more on account of its clear-cut intent, than anything else.

‘Vimaanam’ is less a film on aspirations and more one on love, which is also the primary cause of its collapse. The raison d’etre for Venkateswaran is Janaki (Durga Krishna), and she remains the key spring of his inspiration; the one with whom he dreams of flying some day. The film that has to take a very vital pick, between the man’s objective and the muse behind his objective, opts for the latter, thereby pulling itself down.

vimaanam-review

The first successful flight scene aboard Venkidi’s aircraft is one that is beset with theatrical moments. You start wondering if driving an airplane is akin to steering your new car down the streets, waving to friends and family who have come out to wave back at you, and even drop a sack of rose petals all over your sweetheart, as she smiles at you, all exhilarated from the terrace.

As if that weren’t enough, ‘Vimaanam’ prods its protagonist to do the unthinkable; he braves prison and manoeuvres his aircraft straight on to the airport, where he crash lands and rushes towards his love, waiting to board her flight to Singapore. This is where the film affirms that the aircraft isn’t what is important this time around, as it had been in Murali’s film. The woman, is.

There is this one gleaming scene in the film though, where a distraught Janaki admits that she sees only hurdles in the path of love. Venkidi assures her that things should eventually get better and that all the conflict should in fact do them good, adding that an airplane takes off only in the face of a gushing wind. But this kind of linkage between the twin narratives is what is seen lacking in the rest of the film.

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Prithvi is as dependable as ever, while Durga Krishna leaves a self-assured mark of her own. There are also commendable performances from Alencier, Lena, P Balachandran and Sudheer Karamana. Shehnad Jalal’s frames are picturesque, and the inventiveness that lies behind the dazzling title design by Old Monks one that merits a very special mention.

An honourable try without doubt, but one which is strangely superficial, ‘Vimaanam’ strives to be exuberant, but turns out to be sluggish instead. A film that has its heart all over the place, this is an airplane that takes a while to take off, and which when it finally does, struggles to smoothly touch ground again.


Verdict: Average


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