“Aadhi”… Pranav Mohanlal makes a confident debut in a familiar, yet fun, thriller

Posted on January 29, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/aadhi-movie-review/

Before we get to the narrative of Aadhi, let’s dig into the meta-narrative. Aadhi (Pranav Mohanlal) dreams of becoming a music director, and in an early scene, his friends advise him to try the Telugu or Tamil film industries, because there just aren’t enough opportunities in Malayalam cinema. His father, Mohan Varma (Siddique, in a performance as robust as his physique), worries that he won’t be able to help him, because he wields no influence in this field. It takes some cheek to introduce a newcomer this way, for who can forget that these scenes are built around the son of one of Malayalam cinema’s most legendary stars? “It’s not enough if you have talent,” Aadhi sulks. “You need luck.” I laughed. Pulling off this line with a straight face (and with that surname) may be the surest indication that Pranav has inherited at least some of his father’s acting genes.

This isn’t about nepotism. If the boy is talented and if he comes with an inbuilt curiosity factor that pulls audiences in, then why complain? But it’s hard not to wince when this is rubbed in your face. (This is Pranav’s first film, and we already have a “Global Pranav Mohanlal Fans and Welfare Association” being thanked during the opening credits.) Pranav’s introduction scene has him strumming a guitar (very convincingly; in another song, he seems to know how to use the pedal for distortion effects) and singing Mizhiyoram, from his father’s launch vehicle, Manjil Virinja Pookkal. Even if you didn’t know the song, the words “manjil virinja pookkal” feature constantly in the lyrics, nudging you in the ribs. Soon, Mohanlal himself makes a guest appearance. And let’s not forget that the writer-director is Jeethu Joseph, who gave Pranav’s father one of his biggest blockbusters, Drishyam. Let’s see another newcomer, one with no connections, have this kind of a red carpet laid out for him, and then we’ll talk.

Continued at the link above.

Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

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