Verdict: Pradeep’s feature debut provides lots of laughs with some melodrama.

After making some brilliant short films, Pradeep Ranganathan has tried his hand at feature, giving us Comali. The legendary Ishari Velan’s son Ishari Ganesh has joined hands with him to produce the movie. Comali is laden with hip-hop music and never-imagined melodies by Hiphop Tamizha while cinematographer Richard N Nath strokes some color and shimmer into it. The star who lost eighteen kgs to play the lead role has raised our expectations as we see Jayam Ravi in a new avatar. Yogi Babu as the sidekick is a necessity in every movie and proves to be the director’s lucky charm. Completing the cast are the girls-next-door Kajal Aggarwal and Samyuktha Hegde with Vinodhini and KS Ravikumar in smaller roles.

What’s Comali About:

Comali highlights the impact of our actions on society. The movie starts with a classic ’90s love story between teenagers Ravi (Jayam Ravi) and Nikitha (Samyuktha Hegde). The day Ravi chooses to express his feelings, a tragic incident takes place, leaving him in a comatose state. Sixteen years later, he finally wakes up to realize that the world around him has completely changed. The movie moves on to show him coping with the drastic changes from 1996 to 2016, where technology has taken over human life. Amidst all this, there is a story that depicts his hope to see the brighter side of the new world. He gathers all his guts and determination to make that change but no story is complete without obstacles that come by unannounced.

What Works:

Pradeep’s concoction of comedy and melodrama works wonders for this plot. There are a set of scenes that are meant to induce nostalgic emotions. The initial scenes showcase shots of props that are relatable to any ’90s kid, like the brick game, video games with cassettes, television ads, teenage love, movies, music, friends and school life. The director has made a lot of effort to project the scenes with a play of emotions. The first half of the movie also highlights the concept of caste being an unwanted weed in society. Ravi is brought up with these fine teachings and it is seen in his character.

Pradeep’s awareness of current changes in the way in which we live and interact with others is magnified through the story. It conveys the downsides of a technological revolution and how it has affected our communication skills and impacted childhood. The consistency in the movie is met through its hilarious and creative jokes and dialogues. Yogi Babu saves the movie with perfect comic timing and undoubtedly Jayam Ravi, Samayuktha, Kajal Aggarwal, Vinodhini and KS Ravikumar hold the story and characters upright and uptight.

What Could’ve Been Better:

To be honest, Jayam Ravi looks too old to play the role of a teenager. Someone else should have been cast for this stage of his character’s life. The first half of the movie is well designed but the second half can be a tad confusing as the storyline goes in different directions. The scenes of objectification are not required in the story at all. We also wish Kajal Aggarwal and KS Ravikumar could have been given a bit more screen time.

Why You Should Watch:

As a newcomer, Pradeep Ranganathan has done a tremendous job. Comali possesses an uncliched story and is a good watch. It emphasizes every now and then of how we can make our world better with our emotions and feelings. For Jayam Ravi and Kajal fans, this one is not to be missed.

– By Anagha Nair