Lava Kusha review: Biju Menon shines, but film fails to connect

With an unremarkable script and visionless direction the film seems to fall flat even in comedy, writes Deepa Antony

Aju Varghese and Neeraj Madhav star in and as Lava Kusha. Directed by Gireesh Mano, who debuted in Malayalam directing Ne Ko Nja Cha, Lava Kusha opens with a formulaic cartoonish and caricaturist tone. The film is a cliché slaptick comedy as is evident from the trailer. The story, screenplay and dialogues of this comedy cop movie is done by Neeraj Madhav himself.

The film opens with a voice over by Janardhanan making the viewers miss the actor on screen. The actor’s thunderous and scratchy voice adds an element of surprise and suspense that seeps away in due course as the film proceeds. Lava Kusha instantly reminds us of Dasan and Vijayan from Nadodikkattu. Aju and Neeraj play two jobless, dimwits who are ambitious dreamers who aspire to be cops at best, or atleast detectives. However, unlike Dasan and Vijayan, Aju Varghese and Neeraj Madhav, who call themselves (Lavan and Kushan) are comic for the sake of comedy. Biju Menon, who is a delight to watch on the screen, is the only saving grace in the movie. His shifts from comic to serious and vice versa are both effortless and seamless. Vijay Babu makes a worthwhile appearance. He plays his otherwise caricaturist character with a subtle nuance he can be proud of. With not much scope to perform Deepthi Sati consistently has one ‘tough cop’ expression throughout the movie. Amongst the other characters, the stereotype neighbour played by Thasni Khan and the actor who plays the suspicious husband in the neighbor called Sumesh stand out for their brilliant comic timing.

Gopi Sundar is credited for the music and background score of the film. While the background score tries to save the narrative the songs are also tuned well. However, the lyrics are painfully mundane and conversational. The film opens with a ‘drunk’ song which reminds one of ‘why this kolaveri di’ in terms of the lyrics and still seems random. Sadly none of the songs can be expected to stick in memory because of their overtly simplified and senseless yet rhyming lyrics.

The film fails in a story so poorly written that the plot has huge gaping logical holes. At most of the places the comedy feels strained, stretched and predictable. With an unremarkable script and visionless direction the film seems to fall flat even in comedy, a genre in boosts in. The film seems to be shot in a low-budget with very few characters. Since the leads have neither a back story nor a pretext the viewers are never drawn to relate to them nor feel a belonging towards them. There are strictly only as few actors on screen as there are dialogues and all the characters and context are blurred by definition. However, the movie does have some sparkling comedy. In places where even talented actors like Aju Varghese and Neeraj Madhav seem patchy Biju Menon is seen at the helm of the subtle and situational comedy that are worth laughs.

The film seems heavily inspired by not only Nadodikattu for the lead characters, but also CID Moosa for the tone and treatment. But the writing fails to do justice to either of the two inspirations. 

reviewed byDeepa Antony

12 Oct 2017 | 06:48 PM

  • directed by
  • Gireesh Mano
  • Produced by
  • Jaison Elamgulam
  • Girish Vaikom
  • Starring
  • Neeraj Madhav
  • Aju Varghese
  • Biju Menon
  • Genres
  • Thriller
  • Comedy