CultureCinema ‘Aavesham’: A Laughing Riot With The Gangster Ranga

‘Aavesham’: A Laughing Riot With The Gangster Ranga

Though the film was released with its competitor film Varshangalku Shesham (2024), Aavesham has attracted more audiences due to its full-frame entertainment. 

It seems 2024 is the year for Malayalam cinema, several films have hit the theatres and are continuing to run houseful. Of the latest releases is Aavesham (2024), the Fahad Faasil mass entertainer that is mostly likely to become a blockbuster hit. Though the film was released with its competitor film Varshangalku Shesham (2024), Aavesham has attracted more audiences due to its full-frame entertainment. 

Aavesham is the second film by Jithu Madhavan after Romancham (2023). The narrative is structured into a small casual story which many other famous actors might have easily neglected. Still, Fahad had given an endless charm to the entire film with his supporting characters. The narrative revolves around the revenge exacted by three young engineering students with the help of a gangster named Ranga and the aftermath.   

More than the identification with the director doubtlessly the film is known and heard by the name of the protagonist Ranga lived by Fadah Faasil. For those who are unfamiliar with this name, Fahad is a Malayalam actor who has secured a permanent position for himself in the South Indian film industry. He is a blockbuster actor with a methodical style who could effortlessly slip into the contour of any character. Hence his fan base is increasing all across India, especially with the coming of OTT platforms. 

The continuing menace of ragging

Ragging is a social issue that continues to hunt many youngsters on educational and professional fronts. Though many laws are in place to wipe it out, it continues to thrive especially in colleges where one has to move out of one’s state. The film too is centered around such an incident where the freshers especially from other states are targeted and persecuted for the senior students’ sadistic impulses. 

Source: Anwar Rasheed Entertainment/YouTube

Through this theme, Aavesham continues to ponder over some connected issues like the use of drug-based substances and gangster mode of operating behaviour among youngsters. It leads them to remain detached from the inner core of society and develop as unsympathetic and ego-centred individuals. 

Kutti and his gangmates are an evident example of these. How the others around and the affected respond to them also requires contemplation. For instance, the three-membered gang of Aju, Santhan and Bibi is formed based on the common trauma they had to undergo together. 

Search for identity as an irony

The Gangster Ranga though appearing as a self-made man when viewed as a whole cannot be argued as such. He is created and re-created every time through the stories of his first henchman, Amban. Though his tellings are enriched with all the ingredients for the life of a gangster, all of it cannot be believed as such; even when the three teenagers scrape the paint off the wall. Whenever Ranga asks Amban to explain about him to the teenagers, it is like the repetition of an already rehearsed act. These attempts point to the lack of identity of Ranga.

Source: Anwar Rasheed Entertainment/YouTube

Through the narrative, it is also clear that he stole the identity and dressing style of his guru which leads to a continuing rivalry between them. Only a gangster with a unique style and identity could sustain their gangster career and earn respect, hence identity is a much sought-after thing for them. 

Ranga is not a very serious gangster but he executes crimes on a petty level mostly to sustain. Yet the wealth he harnessed is not from these small-scale crimes but by the selling of his massive barren property. The seriousness of their gangster activity is implicated in many instances in Aavesham like their little usage of hand revolver.

In short, Ranga’s thriving in petty criminal activities is to rescue himself from the abyss of loneliness. Moreover, he never had a chance to enjoy his life as a motivation for others, thus this mode of life is the only thing remaining with him to help himself out. For Fahad playing this role, it becomes ironic that he is a well-established actor with an identity, yet the character keeps on searching for one through the script. All of these, are portrayed through cinema where identity creation is the most crucial.

Characters of Ranga and Amban

Eda monee‘ (roughly translated as ‘hey kid’) is the most popular dialogue of Ranga from the film. He is that one character who shall always remain deeply etched in the mind of the audience after the film. There are many attributes to this character which cannot be expressed in the limitation of space. He is that dancer, gangster, ambivert, self-hero fancied, fighter persona which one might encounter much less in life. He is a hedonist in the sense that he wants to enjoy life with all its pleasures to the max, often helping him to slip that everything he lost in his life. For example, the most memorable dance sequence of Ranga when getting ready for work and “Illuminalitti” dance song marks a lot of hedonism in him. His making of funny reels is yet another instance.

Source: Anwar Rasheed Entertainment/YouTube

Throughout Ranga is the full-time entertainer who never fails to amuse the viewers not just through his body language and emotions but also with his expressions. He befriends the three teenagers and takes upon as their brother all by himself. Though at first interesting later things take a turn and he interferes with their life like a haunting ghost. Both the parties’ mutual interests come into conflict when the film comes to its pivotal moment.

Though a gangster he is thoroughly influenced by even the trivial things around him adding to the major scenes of humour. His constant infatuation with the Yadagara Yadagara bgm from KGF (2018) reveals his softer side when he cannot control his emotions whereupon he transforms into a common man. This connection is strengthened by his background story involving his mother.

In a very similar circumstance where this transformation occurs when Bibi’s mother calls. In short, the character is given its comical touch through the involvement of all these traits, but he is in essence a man needing love, care and people around him.

Amban, his close buddy is another goon who knows him better and is emotionally attached to him. Amban is that foil to Ranga, both of whom work out most comical scenes together. Their timing in acting and dialogue delivery is unmatchable. He is the soul companion of Ranga who gets him without words. Siju Sunny has done a terrific job with Amban.

The absence of female characters in Aavesham

Aavesham does not have any significant female presence, though minor female characters are spread in the range of three. One character who influences the narrative at least lightly is the mother of Bibi who makes calls occasionally. Apart from this Ranga’s mother and two other female sex workers are introduced who are not even given names. But through the structuring of the script, it does not show as a fault and the narrative does not offer much scope for one.

In the final words, Aavesham (2024) is a fun watch, provided the viewer has a taste for jokes. It does not create any sort of boredom, moreover one could thoroughly enjoy the performance of Fahad without feeling overwhelmed. With the instant success of the film, the fans are demanding a prequel and a sequel for the film.

Together with this, the end credits of the film have opened the scope for the comics of Ranga and the gang. According to the latest reports, Tamil director Vignesh Shivan has commented on the film saying, “Fafa (Fahad) you are from another planet . . . Malayalam cinema is just smashing everything out of the park.”

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