CultureCinema ‘Varshangalku Shesham’ (2024) Review: Understanding Its  Success And Self Mockery 

‘Varshangalku Shesham’ (2024) Review: Understanding Its  Success And Self Mockery 

Despite lacking proper anchorage in the first half, Vineeth Sreenivasan's 'Varshangalku Shesham' is interesting as a one time watch.

One among the two films running successfully in Kerala theatres now is Varshangalku Shesham (2024), a typical Vineeth Sreenivasan film that caters to all audience alike without any differentiation. The most interesting note about the film is the coming together of numerous new faces as well as established middle aged actors with whom the director shares a close bond. Therefore, the film is increasingly noted as the friends gang film of Vineeth Sreenivasan. On a brief note, it is a lifelong friendship narrative that attempts to include the many experiences of the dreamers behind the silver screen. 

Nepotism, ageism and body shaming in Varshangalku Shesham

Varshangalku Shesham is the marked return of yet another Malayalam actor, Nivin Pauly as the character Nithin Molly. It is his arrival in the second half of the film that takes it to the next level, filling it with bursts of laughter due to Nithin Molly and Pradeep (played by Basil). Nivin Pauly is an actor who has established himself in the film industry without any godfather or external support. In spite of this, it’s been years since he has done a popular role as in Premam (2015). It seems that the industry has forgotten him and moved on as if he never existed. It is concluded by many that he was consciously excluded since he was becoming a competitor to many others.

Source: IMDb

Therefore, his dialogues are self reflexive at many times, daring to question nepotism in the industry directly, though they are sugar-coated, under the pretext of comedy. Another brilliance of these scenes is that, they could be read from the other angle also. Nithin Molly is cast as a mildly narcissistic person to evoke joke. Therefore, he could also be read as a hot headed actor who lost his chances due to his arrogance.

When read in this sense, Nithin Molly making daring accusations against the nepotists is a drag on his mistakes. Not to mention, ‘pure talent is what keeps one going in the film industry and not starry family presence’ is the regular talk of the town. Nevertheless, the very basis and making of Varshangalku Shesham is nepotistic. Casting Dhyan Sreenivasan as Venu in the directorial venture of his elder brother, Vineeth Sreenivasan is doubtlessly an effort to bring up the acting profile of Dhyan who is not yet a successful actor. 

Body shaming is yet another issue that was faced by Nivin Pauly and many other actors, especially women.

Body shaming is yet another issue that was faced by Nivin Pauly and many other actors, especially women. The reasons for these may be post partum weight gain, health issues and many more. The public, especially through media channels and social media, body shamed the actors. One of the reasons cited for the exclusion of Nivin from films by many film makers was his obesity.

However, these faulty reasons to justify one particular actor’s exclusion are hypocritical in an industry where most of the actors irrespective of gender are voluptuous. This selectivity in body shaming was thoroughly roasted through the dialogues of Nithin Molly.  

Source: Times of India

Ageism is yet another important issue that needs to be mentioned in an industry that is increasingly becoming new gen in every aspect of film making. Just because of this new gen wave in Malayalam cinema, many film makers are ousted irrevocably. The aged characters, too, face the same difficulty from the crew in the film making process. Here, they vie to implicate that they can easily adapt and reproduce what is exactly needed by the young generation.

More than this, the film significantly shows that aged people too have dreams and aspirations which must never be looked down upon because potential is the real hero. Many scenes in the second half of Varshangalku Shesham were made exclusively to give acceptance to the aged directors, script writers and the rest of the crew, who deserve the same love and admiration gathered by aged actors like Mohan Lal, Mammootty and others.  

The homosocial bond between Murali and Venu

Even when humans connect to each other through their circumstances and emotions, to a greater degree, it is their mutual respect and love for each other that sustains it. Varshangalku Shesham stands as a testimony to this principle. Though Murali and Venu are connected by external conditions, these factors mould their bond as something unbreakable. Their bond is tested again and again by fate, only to overcome these obstacles. 

Though Murali and Venu are connected by external conditions, these factors mould their bond as something unbreakable.

Murali’s passion for music and Venu’s love for cinema keeps them tied initially. In spite of this, even when their individual life goals are attained, each only want the best for the other. This mutual respect and love keep them going. Nevertheless, their friendship fails to reach a level beyond their status, at least in their youth days. This lacking keeps them in the testing phase- we see how Venu fails to lift Murali up from ashes when he needs it the most.

Source: Movie Crow

The thirst of success and fame drives him apart from Murali who slowly gives in to despair and regret. But the transition these characters undergo is notable, they look out for each other, becomes more patient and obliged to pursue their biggest dream much later in life. 

Neglected female presence in Varshangalku Shesham

When speaking of the divinely connected souls, Murali and Venu, Varshangalku Shesham had to compromise on its female characters. Of the few female characters are Annie (played by Kalyani Priyadarshan) and Radhika (played by Neeta Pillai), both of whom are created for the male actors’ sakes alone, as the love interests of these main characters. They fail to rise beyond the stereotypical roles.

One of the reasons why a young actor like Kalyani is included is to just impress the audience with the tokenistoc inclusion of a woman character. Even when the focus is on the bonding between the two male protagonists, it is also necessary to at least assign a purpose to the female characters. The lack of any objectives or purpose for them is suggestive of women only following men for their material success. For instance no other woman crosses Murali’s life after Annie.

In the absence of this female perspective, Varshangalku Shesham is reduced to the level of one that celebrates male social bond alone.

In the absence of this female perspective, Varshangalku Shesham is reduced to the level of one that celebrates male social bond alone. In this circumstance, it is also mandatory to mention that so far, no Malayalam film has gone to that extent of celebrating female bonds. 

Though some of the songs like Madhu Pakaroo and the background music in the film is captivating, others lack the depth and charm that is much needed. Amrit Ramnath’s attempts in  Varshangalku Shesham, therefore, could not see much success but the musical scenes at least in one or two songs is interesting.

The first and the second half of Varshangalku Shesham vary so widely from each other. The first half is paced ahead of the following half. But overall, it was a good move which has garnered quite some success. Yet, it is also true that the success of Varshangalku Shesham owes a lot to the presence of Nithin Molly, irrespective of the multifarious attempts of the director.

The acting capacity of Pranav Mohan Lal and Dhyan Sreenivasan doubtlessly helped the film, still the lack of a proper anchorage to keep the viewers hooked was visible in the first half. Comparing the many factors and aspects together, Varshangalku Shesham (2024) is interesting as a one time watch.

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