‘Vijay Superum Pournamiyum’ has a pretty atmosphere that is accentuated with solid performances and compelling moments that glimmer here and there. But it regrettably lacks the requisite natural vibes to render it the charm that could have transferred it to the next level – that of a wholly agreeable entertainer.
I have admittedly not watched ‘Pelli Choopulu’ (Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam, 2016) the runaway Telugu hit that has inspired Jis Joy’s ‘Vijay Superum Pournamiyum’ but it’s evident that the film has been tweaked to blend with the cultural milieu in Kerala. However, the intermittent loudness is quite obviously a distraction, and what the film often lacks is subtlety, the charmingly silent kind that has often lent delightful films a faint fragrance of their own.
Vijay (Asif Ali) has lived with a Super surname all his life, ever since his parents took him over to a child counsellor who proclaimed that even the sky is not the limit for the boy. Chanting self-help mantras before the mirror, he grows up into a ‘broiler engineer’ upon the insistence of his parents but dreams of opening a seaside food joint some day.
Pournami (Aishwarya Lekshmi) aka Pinky, has on the other hand had a history of wowing her entire school with her quaint queries and finishes off an MBA in due time. Passing out of the business school, she tries her hand at a couple of business ventures and burns her palms in the process. As she gets all set for a third one, she realizes that her supportive parents aren’t bemused any more, and reluctantly agrees to their insistence that she tie the knot.
When Vijay Super and Pournami find themselves locked up in a room, in the course of a matchmaking process, they recount their past experiences over cups of hot coffee and biscuits. They talk of their aspirations, their past relationships and the eventual breakups, before the carpenter arrives and drills the lock down.
This isn’t exactly fresh ground that the film steps on, and over the past few years, flicks on youngsters chasing their dreams have almost become redundant. And yet, ‘Vijay Superum Pournamiyum’ has moments in it that could effortlessly make you break into a smile, and at times even much more than that.
Where it slips, is on that very apparent garishness that has been mentioned at the beginning, that intrudes into the story line time and again. it is exactly what overwhelms a climax that is set in a radio station and the whole world listening to Vijay Super and Pournami venting out their feelings over the mic.
There is also a particular incident in the film that leaves me real curious. Having bagged their first major order after starting off a food truck business together, Vijay Super fails to deliver the goods since he oversleeps in the morning and forgets to fuel up the vehicle. At the wedding venue, Pournami receives all the flak from the organisers and is made to suffer all the embarrassment.
There is the flipside, that he had worked all night and that he had gone off track to transfer an accident victim to a hospital. And yet, a few scenes later, Pournami apologises to him for no fault of hers, making you wonder about the justice in these gender equations, while Vijay manages to get away with the selfless deeds that he had done very easily covering up for his lack of promptness and very obvious heedlessness.
The kind of adulation and esteem that the Malayali holds for the irreplaceable skylark of Malayalam cinema – K S Chitra – is apparent in the thundering applause that breaks out spontaneously in the hall as the camera zooms in on her rendering an unplugged version of ‘Manassin Madiyile Manthaliril..’. It also happens to be one of the sweetest moments that the film holds in store.
Aishwarya Lekshmi seems to be getting better with each film of hers, and it’s a pleasure to watch her in the film, as she so effortlessly rises above the writing that is handed out to her. Asif Ali makes an agreeable companion and as Vijay Super, the actor readily slips into a role that has been tailor made for him. There are commendable supporting performances from Siddique, Renji Panicker, Santhi Krishna and KPAC Lalitha to mention a few.
‘Vijay Superum Pornamiyum’ has a pretty atmosphere that is accentuated with solid performances and compelling moments that glimmer here and there. But it regrettably lacks the requisite natural vibes to render it the charm that could have transferred it to the next level – that of a wholly agreeable entertainer.
Verdict: Mixed Bag