Friday, March 18, 2016

ഡാർവിന്റെ പരിണാമം (Darvinte Parinamam) (2016)

Director: Jijo Antony
Writers:  Manoj Nair, Jijo Antony
Cast:        Prithviraj, Chemban Vinodh, Soubin Shahir
Language: Malayalam

A man from out of town (Prithviraj), struggling for bread for his family, crosses path with a rather mellowed down don (Chemban Vinodh) which pits them against each other. Sounds rather clichéd doesn't it? What makes it different is the treatment and the unexpected ways in which the plot developes. The title of film translates as Darvin's Evolution and it refers to the evolution of both hero and villain, whoever they might be. There is some irony thrown in with St. Antony playing a part in the story.

Prithviraj is on a high with four successive hits, all collecting more than 15 crores at Kerala Box Office. His golden run started after the huge box office disaster that was 'Double Barrel', which was produced by his own production house- August Cinema. This film is also produced by the same banner and it is quite a dependable one to go by as they haven't made,  what I consider to be, loathsome films so far. That's why I decided to check out this film first day first show itself even though I wasn't that enamoured by its trailer.

The film as a whole is very watchable with plenty of good portions and some which are quite dragging. It's greatest strength is it's unpredictability. It takes quite a bit of time for the two main characters to meet good and proper. That time is utilised for establishing both characters and their background. The story of don is more interesting during the first half of the film with the Prithviraj storyline being very unsubtle in its handling. It is quite deliberate but I still didn't enjoy it that much. The film takes a very comedic turn from the beginning of the second half and ends with a clichéd fight sequence, which they themselves refer to as something from a Telugu film.

The one theme that they play with throughout the film is the ambiguity in terms of who the hero is and who the villain is in the story. It is quite straightforward for us for most of the story with the hero being Prithviraj. But during the second half, don't know whether it is deliberate, Prithviraj turns to his irritating best. If it is deliberate, then it is quite brilliant because people who don't like him will also enjoy the film. We genuinely root for Chemban Vinodh towards the end of the film.

Overall it is a very watchable film with a very interesting story-line. At 150 minutes long, it is longer than it should be and they could have easily cut some of the useless songs and slow motion walks. It is disappointing to see some sequences that have been put just to please the so-called fans and I wish they could move away from that. The camera work and some of the editing flourishes are really good and that have managed to capture the slum portions of Kochi very well. The comedy in it is quite well handled and I liked the fact that they didn't linger on to make sure that everybody got it. The film won't bore you as long as you can stomach its unpredictability. Looks like fifth hit in a row for Prithviraj.

Rating: 2.5/5