Abhiyude Katha Anuvinteyum
Direction: B R Vijayalakshmi
Cast: Tovino Thomas, Piaa Bajpai, Suhasini, Rohini, Prabhu
The guy Abhi (Tovino Thomas) falls in love with the girl Anu (Piaa Bajpai), who is something of a social media celebrity, after seeing her Facebook videos showcasing all her cuteness and good deeds. Anu accepts his friend request after he sends her a gift. You ask yourself what's so special about this dude that compelled her to respond to him. I mean, he doesn't do anything out of the ordinary.
Their impulsive actions are, a few scenes later, attributed to the fact that both are seemingly lonely individuals despite being surrounded by lots of friends and relatives who constantly shower them with their love and affection. But I still couldn't find an explanation for the overdose of cuteness in the film's first half. Everybody loves each other.
What's worse is that the heroine frequently says "Sho shweet". And if that wasn't enough, the hero keeps mentioning how happy he is when he is with her. Yes, yes, we can see that you guys are so happy with each other, but why do you have to say it out loud? There is 'sho much shweetness' in the film that I feared I might get diabetes before the interval. When the lovers get married, their parents have no objections in spite of marrying without their consent. Everything's peachy.
Now comes the pre-interval twist (which I won't reveal) that is about to turn their world upside down. When it's revealed, the camera quickly zooms to the faces of Abhi's parents before having a momentary seizure, in case the viewers didn't feel the full impact of this revelation without this trick. We are supposed to feel bad for the lovers, but this Balaji Telefilms-style filmmaking is infuriating.
Perhaps the director was sincere in attempting to do something different with her film, but the cheesiness is so intolerable that one stops caring after a certain point. The film plays out like the fantasy of a teenage girl -- like the stuff you see in one of those B-grade romance novels. I wished there was some comic relief to lift my spirits but the only comic relief we get is few and far in between. It comes in the form of Abhi's slightly effeminate boss (Manobala) who repeatedly chides him for paying more attention to his girlfriend's WhatsApp messages than his job. But this is actually a forced attempt at humour.
Of the entire cast, the two actors I liked the most are Suhasini, who is effervescent as Abhi's aunt, and Prabhu, as her good-hearted husband. The two fit the description of a model husband and wife, reminiscent of the Prakash Raj-Leela Samson couple in OK Kanmani (this time it's the husband who is ill). In fact, the best lines in the film belong to them. Suhasini's character is loving, sensible, and open-minded -- a much better mother to Abhi than his own. You wish you had a woman like that as your mother/wife. When Abhi goes through the severe after-effects of the aforementioned twist, the couple gives him a heartwarming advice.
Abhiyude Katha Anuvinteyum is a very odd and awkward choice for an actor who is coming off the success of Maayanadhi (now that's what you call a truly unconventional film). I wish Tovino didn't sign every project that came his way just because it "looks" different. Yes, it has few thought-provoking moments, but ultimately it's a 90s-style romantic drama trying to pass itself off as some ground-breaking new wave film.