Streaming on Netflix
Happy Onam, guys.
Built on Vineeth Krishnan’s screenplay by debutant director Shamzu Zayba, Maniyarayile Ashokan is a slice-of-life film which stars Jacob Gregory in the titular role. With a stellar cast including Shine Tom Chacko, Krishna Sankar, Anupama Parameshwaran and Vijayaraghavan among many others and the fact that the film has been produced by Dulquer Salmaan and Jacob Gregory under the banner Wayfarer Films, expectations were rather high, but the film sadly does not live up to it.
Maniyarayile Ashokan revolves around Ashokan (Jacob Gregory), a village office clerk who lives in a lustrous green village. He has little aspirations and has been living a very normal life, with his family and friends. The only worry in his life is him not finding a partner. After many rejections, and the issues in his horoscope, he finally accepts someone in his life, which turns his life upside down.
A Sreenivasan-isque setting
The setting of the film, including the lead character Ashokan, his insecurities and the locality reminds you of various similar roles and films that veteran writer, actor Sreenivasan has given us. The characters are well written, especially Ashokan and Gregory have completely done justice to his role. There are quite a few dialogues that are worth getting exposed to. The music is beautiful as well. However, the bizarre plot (including the unacceptable beliefs and customs) does not work beyond that.
A lost cause
From the trailer, the film seemed quite interesting and promising, and we expected it would be a quirky take on relationships. It is, in a way, but loses grip after a point. It traverses through an illogical path, and makes you wonder what the makers were trying to portray. The film has a stellar cast and even a cameo by Anu Sithara, Sunny Wayne and Dulquer Salmaan, but no one gets enough space to perform nor do the cameos help. Overall, it was a lost cause, with a bizarre turn of events and under-utilised talents.
A rough take on mental health
After a point, the film takes a turn that clearly shows a change in the character’s emotional and mental pattern. However, mental health is taken lightly and does not give you any clarity about the character’s thought process. In this age, anything related to mental health should be taken responsibly; the makers fail to achieve that.
WATCH OR NOT
Maniyarayile Ashokan has some quirky moments and stunning visuals and is one time watchable. Watch it for the cameos and little surprises and an interesting Gregory.
Director: Shamzu Zayba
Writer: Vineeth Krishnan
Cast: Jacob Gregory, Vijayaraghavan, Anupama Parameshwaran, Shine Tom Chacko, Krishna Sankar
Music: Sreehari K. Nair
Streaming on: Netflix