Aravindante Athidhikal review: It’s sweet, simple and poetic

Vineeth Sreenivasan is evidently a much more confident actor than he ever was, writes Deepa Antony.

Aravindante Athidhikal opens to a crowd in front of the Navratri celebrations at Mookambika temple, where a stranded boy anxiously cries for his mother. Madhavan (Sreenivasan) finds the boy and pacifies him. The boy who got lost at the Sree Mookambika temple is Aravindan.

Aravindante Athidhikal is the story of a grown-up Aravindan (Vineeth Sreenivasan) who, along with Madhavan, looks after Madhavan’s home stay near Mookambika temple in Kollur. The spirited and upbeat Aravindan is the back-bone of the home stay. He is thoughtful, considerate and resourceful- all traits that make him an excellent host. And hence, his guests all come back to stay at his home stay. The story turns around as one of his guests have to over stay and become more than just guests. How these guests interfere and change his life is what makes the crux of this film.

Directed by M Mohanan (Kadha parayumbol fame) Aravindante Athidhikal is written by Rajesh Raghavan. Aravindante Athidhikal deals with a very predictable and cliché plotline and the writer seems to not have gone much far to do anything about it. It seems like they all settled for mediocrity.

Playing in his home ground (amidst his father and maternal uncle),Vineeth Sreenivasan is evidently a much more confident actor than he ever was. However there is gross misuse, or rather under use, of Sreenivasan’s talent. Madhavan (Sreenivasan) has no character graph throughout the story that spans across decades. The story places him as a token quintessential closet-communist stuck in a hand-to-mouth job outside Kerala. Nothing about his whereabouts- family, native, or back story- is mentioned anywhere. The story even fails to establish or explore the relationship between Madhavan and Aravindan, his foster son. We aren’t even told why Madhavan is always ‘Madhavettan’ to Aravindan inspite of having raised Aravindan since he was 5 years old. Nikhila Vimal, the female lead, is every bit endearing. Playing the role of Varada, a dancer, Nikhila quite expressive with her eyes.

Aju Varghese, Bijukuttan, Kottayam Nazeer, Urvashi, Premkumar and Vijay Raghavan, all play small parts as comic relief. However, all these characters are run-of-the-mill, slapstick and baked in the oven of mimicry sketches.

Shaan Rahman’s music is seamlessly weaved into the narrative with not a thread out of place. Swaroop Philip cranks the camera to soak in the picturesque beauty of Kollur and Kodachadri. His frames, especially those leading to the emotional climax, add texture to the narrative which otherwise would have been sans emotion.

Aravindante Athitdhikal is not a love story. It is a supposed feel-good story about love, compassion and hospitality. However, with too many grey areas in the story and an inadequate and shallow storyline the narrative is feel-good only in bits and pieces. The story leaves too many questions unanswered, unattended and overlooked. By the time the end credits roll you feel like you’ve had a piece of a tasty pie with a missing ingredient and are yet still left hungry. 

reviewed byDeepa Antony

01 May 2018 | 06:25 PM

  • directed by
  • M. Mohanan
  • Produced by
  • Pradeepkumar Pathiyara
  • Starring
  • Vineeth Sreenivasan
  • Sreenivasan
  • Nikhila Vimal
  • Santhi Krishna
  • Genres
  • Drama