It's only with an extreme sense of dejection and gloom that one would be able to sit through Fazil's latest cinematic outing 'Living Together'. The director of so many memorable films seems nowhere in sight, and to say that Fazil's own immensely forgettable 'Moss 'n Cat' seems like a classic in comparison to 'Living Together', pretty much sums up the miserable state of affairs.
The lights are off in 'Living Together' and Fazil hovers around in darkness, and drags us along with him. The story that he tells is cluttered and we bump into half baked characters and misplaced non-happenings all the time. With the power supply gone, you hunt around with the director for an emergency lamp, but in vain. There are no flashes of directorial flair, no sparks of promise. Absolutely nothing.
If someone hoped that Fazil would tread new ground by telling a story of a living-in relationship, he could go fly a kite. Fazil of course, has no such intentions in mind, and by 'Living together' he means exactly that, and probably a bit less. Because the two characters that are supposed to be living together in the film, do not much do that, except for a brief while.
Heman (not He-man, but short for Hemachandran), played by debuatante Jinoop, is all excited about the arrival of a girl next door. (Remember 'Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu'?) The girl in question turns out to be Shyama (short for Shyamala), played by Sreelekha who has about ten chattering kids all around her wherever she goes. They soon speed away to sing and dance along the streets and over the hills and all around the house. (Remember 'Pappayude Swantham Appoos'?)
Shyama is all contemptuous of Heman, and a shopping mall is where they meet to finally talk out their differences. The book store in 'Aniyathipravu' is a garment showroom this time, and they talk and talk. Shyama isn't impressed still. And Heman finally turns He-man and does a 'His Higness Abdullah'! Carnatic music is bound to bring any unrelenting girl down to her knees, and Shyama is literally floored. But not before she hops in and dons that Bharathanatyam costume and does a few shaky moves.
Lucky for these twittering birds in love that the girl lives in a family where everyone is just waiting for an opportunity to shake a leg. Put some music on, and within moments, you will have them all lined up in a queue prancing about in the living room. The mobile phone is an extremely handy invention, in that it lets you recite poems at midnight to your sweetheart. The boy is an automobile engineer, we are told and the girl is into software, but all they do in their lives is carry on with the midnight song in broad daylight.
There are unbelievably inane scenes as well in the film like the one in which Heman and his friends wait for Shyama outside a shopping mall. She gets, ugggh, kidnapped and the boys follow her in a jeep. Mission Save Shyamala turns out to be a success as they thrash the villains and pack them off to the Recycle Bin in no time. But the big question is about the pick axes that the boys had with them in their jeep when they went to the meet the girl. Strange, huh?
Before you know it, Fazil decides that its time for some paranormal activity. (Its unmentionable in a circumstance as this, but remember 'Manichithrathzhu'?) Shyama even gets an opportunity to be a local Nagavalli, and there is a haunted mansion as well. The horoscope that doesn't let Shyama marry the man she loves and a weird villain who snorts every now and then like a bull in discomfort add to the scary bits further.
The best thing would be to forget 'Living Together' as if it never happened. You could tell yourself that it's just a bad dream. And that once you wake up from it, everything would be all right with the world once again.