Sunday, June 28, 2015

ഓം ശാന്തി ഓശാന (Ohm Shanthi Oshaana) (2014)

Director: Jude Anthany Joseph
Writers:  Jude Anthany Joseph, Midhun Manuel Thomas
Cast:       Nazriya Nazim, Nivin Pauly, Aju Varghese
Language: Malayalam

A spirited young girl, Pooja (Nazriya), would stop at nothing to get the first love of her life, even if it takes seven years and several heartbreaks. Film starts with her father (Renji Panicker) waiting outside the labour room for her birth, a cliched scene in Malayalam cinemas off late, and then jumps to 1999 when she is a 16-year-old school student. This is I guess the first anachronistic mistake of the film since during those times it used to be pre-degree in colleges in stead of the plus-two system. She gets infatuated with an idealized communist social worker/farmer (Nivin Pauly) and there is the obvious class difference between the two. First half of the film have her following him around but ends with him telling her off pointing out that she is just a kid. Like her father, she also pursues career in medicine and leaves for Calicut to pursue the same. The second half of the film is also more of the same with the guy coming back to her life after a gap and goes through other convoluted cringe worthy plot points to end with the predictable outcome.

I don't like to nitpick regarding anachronistic things in films but when you have one which solely relies on nostalgia for its comedy and as selling point, then it is very disconcerting when you see so many obvious and lazy mistakes. Film could have easily been set starting four-five years ahead of what it is originally but I guess the director, who was also born in 1983, had to convolute it such that he can go through all the time period references that he wants to cram in. Like I said, you get mistakes like plus-two students in pre-degree era, tourist buses that look like Volvo ones in 1999, dressing style that is around 5-6 years ahead of its time at least and other such annoying things. If you want to shove down nostalgia down audience's throat then at least do some justice on that front bu working a little more harder as it pales in comparison to films like 1983 and Premam, both of which starred Nivin Pauly.

Film is told from the perspective of its female lead and she isn't all that convincing as the tomboy character. It seems all the director could think of to give as a trait to convey that image is have her ride a Hero Honda CBZ. It is obvious that she cannot ride a bike but he manages to cover it up through some clever shots of its tires, stand and just legs and you never get a zoomed out shot of her riding the bike. Whatever else that director puts in to convey the tom-boyishness is also not convincing and it looks more like a girl who has not grown up rather than being bold. Part of it is to do with the writing and partly to do with limited acting capability of its lead. 

All that said, the film is watchable with out being any good. It never falls into un-watchable territory and there are plenty of laughs to be had from several set-piece comedy sequences like the first 'No Smoking' bit, the Chinese family scene and the soldier battle scene which was used very well for its trailer. Also the Doordarshan Prathikaranam sequence was very well done. Songs in it are very good to listen to and is used such that there is some purpose for it as a story-telling device. Overall it is a light watch done in a way that many of the Malayalee audience find highly amusing (like Ustad Hotel, Vellimoonga) but I don't. It did very well at box office collecting close to ten crores.

Rating: 2.5/5