'Apoorvam' literally translated into English would mean rare. 'Apoorva Ragam', Siby Malayil's new film, and the one that marks his twenty fifth year in films to boost; claims to play an atypical melody. It would be wrong to say that the film lacks a distinctiveness; on the contrary, its strained attempt to create a uniqueness is what mars it.
Roopesh (Nishan) and Tommy (Asif Ali) are best friends and college mates. When Roopesh realizes that Nancy (Nithya) has created quite a flutter in his heart, Tommy is only glad to play Cupid between the two. For the couple, the future looks all bleak, since Nancy's millionaire dad wouldn't dream of marrying her off to a struggler. Tommy suggests the only way out; get married without daddy's consent.
The narrative of the film is structured in a strange fashion. Things are quite run-of-the-mill for the first hour, and you have all the necessary campus film requisites; be it the nerve-racking songs or the customary jokes, the canteen banter or the weirdo dance steps. In fact everything except studies. Then the makers hurl the first revelation in the film on your face, and you are like, Hmm... that sounds pretty different.
And the next hour is when you get caught in a torrent of twists. Little did you know that you were to be tossed about in a whirlwind of mix-ups that hit you left, right and centre. One after the other, the film throws shockers on you, until the surprises turn out to be unsurprising. As I staggered up from the seat after the late night show, some wisecracker sitting next to me refused to budge from the seat, and with a grin said, "Wait, there might be another twist after the show.'"
A closer look at the film would reveal that 'Apoorva Ragam' banks heavily on its shock value than a plain sensibility that could have made it a more agreeable movie. Hence instead of judiciously driving the tale forward, it wastes its time cooking up kicks and jolts that quickly burst this balloon with one jab after the next. In short, it's a classic case of too many twists spoiling the script.
The technical crew indulges in no wizardry. The songs of the film are quite undistinguished. Coming from Vidyasgar, and that too for a romance, they fall way off the mark and never make an impact.
The leads of the film look quite attractive. Of the young performers, Nithya wins hands down, and with a remarkable performance that follows that short-but-sweet act in 'Kerala Cafe' proves beyond doubt that she's here to stay. Nishan and Asif are quite adequate, but they simply pale in comparison to the young girl.
Indeed it's refreshing that the film doesn't stick to a formula, but we can only wish for all efforts at creating exceptionality to bear fruit. Surfing through this turbulent sea of love could have been exciting, if only its sailors had paid more attention to the winds of reason.