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Guruvayoorambala Nadayil Review: Prithviraj, Basil Elevate Bromance

May 17, 2024 14:04 IST

Guruvayoorambala Nadayil is a no-holds-barred, silly comedy that will keep you glued to the screen even when the going gets tough towards the end but the smile on your face will not leave, observes Arjun Menon.

Guruvayoorambala Nadayil is the follow-up of Director Vipin Das's scathing satirical project, Jaya Jaya Jaya Hai (2022), poking fun at the ethos of Indian marriages.

But this time, there is a clear attempt to go for the broader strokes within the framework of a comedy of errors, eschewing any attempt at mining socio-cultural commentary like his previous outing, which also featured Basil Joseph in the lead.

Prithviraj Sukumaran, Nikhil Vimal and Anaswara Rajan join hands in this old-school, breezy comedy that does not take itself too seriously.


Writer Deepu Pradeep, known for his peculiar brand of humour and an inexhaustible array of quirky character writing, lends a more simplistic lightheartedness to Vipin Das's satirical tendencies.

He has already made a name for himself as the master of humour, grounded on confusing plot lines and oddball set pieces all set in the 'Kalyanam Universe'.

The film follows the odd bromance that develops between two men, who appear different on the outside but are united by their sense of toxic man child energy.

Vinu (Basil Joseph) is recovering from a breakup and he finds himself being haunted by the occasional memories of his ex.

He finds a connection with Anandan (Prithviraj Sukumaran), the hot-headed, impulsive elder brother of his prospective bride, who quickly becomes his paternal figure through their evening drinking sessions over the phone.

Anandan tells Vinu with some resignation during a confessional moment, 'The only free-flowing relationship in the world is the one between brothers-in-law.'

This guiding philosophy charts the events forward as we explore a rarely worked-out facet of modern-day Malayalee relationships that are integral to the institution of marriage. From the screwball energy of their exchanges and corny reverence for each other, bordering on a sense of cringey affectation, we get the kind of bond these two men share, even though they haven't even met each other before.

Right from the onset, the screenplay finds these two men at low points in their respective lives, due to two women who have left them for good, finding solace in their mutual company.

The initial interactions between Prithviraj and Basil constitute some of the funniest exchanges in the film.

The contrasting physicality and persona of the two men immediately ground their unusual camaraderie and sell us on their dynamic that borders on a schmaltzy soap opera.

The placement of the songs Azhagiya Laila and Kannam Thumbi Poramo elevates the well-paced first half that wastes no time in setting up the stakes of this comedy of errors.

The novelty of the casting and the opposing screen presence of the two stars complement the sharp zingers from Deepu Pradeep's screenplay.

Vipin Das bypasses the straightforward A leads to B and B leads to C structure of his earlier films and experiments with the juxtaposition of individual scenes into a collective engine that thrives on laugh-out-loud antics. The narrative is not groundbreaking but the basic structure mirrors the principle of Kunjiramayanam (2015), also penned by Deepu Pradeep and directed by Basil Joseph.

But there are bland stretches too.

The gloriously performed first half is not met with the same intensity in the second half, which swings between some inspired writing choices and middling drama.

Cinematographer Neeraj Ravi gets out of the way and lets the comedic set pieces build their visual framework. But some scenes feel badly lensed as we feel the blandness on paper, transferred directly on screen with odd staging choices.

John Kutty keeps the momentum going in the first half and makes it feel like a fan made super cut with all the highlight moments carefully assembled in quick succession. But film loses this quality in the latter half where too many character introductions and tension building exercises draw out the running time.

Ankit Menon's score keeps things engaging.

The climax is typical of Deepu's scripts where all the actors assemble and you get to marvel at the carefree abandon in the execution of didactic ideas.

Guruvayoorambala Nadayil makes passing references to various pop culture moments.

Mohanlal's famous monologue from the end of Drishyam (2013) is re-contextualised in an expertly conceived scene.

The film also makes recurring references to the Prithviraj starrer Nandanam (2001), where the actor himself plays out the moments.

The messy finale is saved by Prithviraj's comedic timing and screen presence.

The actor gets to relish the scenery-chewing and over-the-top antics of the anti-hero-like figure who is hell-bent on executing his plans amidst the chaotic events that transpire on his sister's wedding day.

Basil Joseph lends levity to even the most throwaway line and he compliments Prithviraj's larger-than-life persona with his meeker yet solid presence on screen.

There are stretches where the one-note tendencies of Deepu's script are remedied to an extent by the charisma and on-screen banter of its leading men.

Nikhila Vimal and Anaswara don't get as much space to subsume in the hilarity and silly game of one-upmanship but quietly carry on fulfilling their arcs within the larger scope of things.

Guruvayoorambala Nadayil is a no-holds-barred, silly comedy that will keep you glued to the screen even when the going gets tough towards the end but the smile on your face will not leave.

Guruvayoorambala Nadayil Review Rediff Rating: