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Vinodayathra is a pleasure trip
Paresh C Palicha | April 09, 2007 17:51 IST
Of late, director Sathyan Anthikkad has become a master at recycling. His stories still have that old world charm, but they have the flashy look of today. They dwell on the present scenario and comment on the societal mores of today. Thankfully, the recycling happens only in the narrative form.
So, when you watch his new film Vinodayathra you are sure about one thing; that it will be vintage Sathyan Anthikkad. And, when you leave the theatre, you are happy about the overall experience.
Vinodayathra is the story of a young man who is averse to taking responsibilities in life, but does not mind helping those in distress. The awkward situations he creates for himself and others around him form the gist of this story.
The undercurrent of humour in the first half, and somewhat heavy dose of emotion and sentiments in the second half are the hallmarks of a Satyan Anthikad film, and these are familiar to us. It is this familiarity that makes you like the film.
For Vinod (Dileep), an MCA degree holder, life is just a pleasure trip (as the title Vinodayathra suggests). His high principles are an excuse for not seeing the practical side of life. Impulsive in nature; he jumps into situations that are full of problems. With the intention of putting some sense into his head, his father sends him to his brother-in-law Shaji Raghavan (Mukesh), an upright civil servant working as chief engineer in the irrigation department.
The possibility of hilarity is fully exploited in this part of the story and we start wondering where all this is headed. The transition in the proceedings is smooth with the old characters giving way to the new.
The director who is also credited with writing the story integrates many topical issues in the story without consciously making them the centre of our attention. The issue of child labour is tackled here as well as the sex racket, but both from a novel angle.
If we have any grouse against this film, it is about the characterisation. For example, the character Anupama played by Meera Jasmine is heavily inspired from Kastooriman, where she played a gutsy lady facing all odds with a smile. Though her performance is flawless, we feel it is repetitive.
As for the ensemble supporting cast consisting of Innocent, Nedumudi Venu, Mamookoya, Murali and KPAC Lalitha, only Murali's role as a police constable recuperating from a wound suffered during a communal riot seems to have some meat. Innocent is his usual self as the watchman of a dam. His weakness for the drink was seen many times including in a few Sathyan Anthikkad films also. Nedumudi Venu as the retired IG writing his service memoirs is a miscast in the comic role, to put it mildly.
Vinodayathra belongs to Mukesh and Dileep. It is their vibes that hold the film together in the first half. Dileep follows his trademark style and Mukesh is very good as the concerned elder who has to bear the brunt of his brother-in-law's silly doings. The film is worth watching for the chemistry between these two actors.
Overall, Vinodayathra is a pleasure trip if we overlook Sathyan Anthikkad's repetitive trademarks.
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