Maniyarayile Ashokan, on Netflix: A sweet-natured romance that needed to be sharper, quirkier

Posted on August 31, 2020


In trying to make the proceedings “entertaining”, the film cheats its protagonist, who remains a flat line from start to finish.

Spoilers ahead…

Shamzu Zayba’s Maniyarayile Ashokan is set in a village where the scent of love fills the air. The opening credits appear over an object of love (Unnimaya, played by Anu Sithara), who makes every single man pine for her with a lovelorn sigh as she walks past them in slow motion, to the strains of a song. There’s the sense of wanting someone who’s way out of your league, and appropriately, we segue right to our protagonist, Ashokan (the affable Jacob Gregory). It’s the day of his wedding, but at night, his bride — whose face we don’t see yet — asks him a strange question. Is it true that he was married earlier? Is it true that he has two children? Before we can learn the answer, we cut to the past, where another beautiful woman walks through another song. It’s another stretch in slow motion. Who is this, now? And the story begins.

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