Vineeth Sreenivasan in his debut film 'Malaravadi Arts Club' takes us over to Manassery, a small village in North Kerala, where five youngsters, Prakash (Nivin Pauly), Santhosh (Shraavan), Praveen (Harikrishnan), Purushu (Bhagat Manuel) and Kuttu (Aju Varghese), past their adolescence, get set to make their big leap into life.
Vineeth makes best use of the first hour in throwing in some very valid digs at the society that we live in. At times he doesn't even use words to convey them across. No one would easily forget the leader in the party office who keeps shouting at the top of his voice every time the camera zooms in on him. 'Keep Silence', painted in thick black letters on the wall behind him says it all.
Kumarettan plays mentor to the boys in the film, but he is more of a spokesperson of a generation that is fast being wiped off. He has no qualms in proclaiming that there are no revolutionaries any more. The revolution lies smothered in a few hearts that have seen their best days.
Vineeth seems to offer a dakshina of sorts to three persons in the film. Boys usually tend to take after their fathers, reveals one of his characters at a crucial moment in the film. No prizes for guessing the person being referred to. There are cross references to the two megastars of the industry in the film as well.
This is not a film without it's blemishes. For one, there are occasions when the script tends to lose its compactness and negligence seems to creep in. Salim Kumar for instance is introduced as a head load worker in the film who has a fight with the boys. Probably because this is an actor who cannot be dispensed with, he is later seen with them in a few other scenes, though it's never clear as to how his character strikes a rapport with them.
The resemblance of the film to other films across the border that have celebrated camaraderie is obvious as well, but eventually it does survive all these. Another major matter of discontent in the film is its music. I am not really sure if this is the kind of music that the new generation has developed a liking for, but I simply wish the film had a musical score that could gel with its content.
Of the performers Nivin Pauly and Bhagath Manuel seemed to score pretty high on the performance chart. The others are pretty charming as well. Malavika Vels though, looks like she's more on a ramp than in the film.
Vineeth's arts club might not be the most perfect movie to have hit screens in recent times, but the pleasures that it offers you cannot be ignored. Vigorous enthusiasm is at war with skepticism here, and in this case, the former clearly wins.
(2.5 / 5) : Above Average