'Love, angst and suspense', goes the tagline of 'Vaadamalli'. It's just that there is a vehement scaling down of all the three in the film - love that looks like a synthetic emotion that comes in corked bottles, angst that feels like an itching rash that refuses to go away and suspense of the kind that you find in a scratch and win contest.
Beethoven Music College is where Vrinda (Richa Panai) arrives to study classical music. She is surprised to see Vasu (Rahul Madhav) as her senior, since they have just had an underwater rendezvous a few days back. Apparently the girl was enjoying a holiday on the Kuttanadu backwaters, when her attempt to pluck a lily had landed her in troubled waters. Vasu the savior was around thankfully on another canoe, and he is the only reason why she gets to wear those skimpy shorts today.
Just forget her wardrobe for a moment. Vrinda is from Thalassery, we are told; the kind of girl who rubs Rasnadi Choornam on the head after a bath. And if it's evening time, she makes sure to light the lamp in her hostel room and pray. With Rasnadi Choornam and the lamp - the two benchmarks of virtue - in tact, Vrinda is the ideal girl any man would fall in love with.
Well, almost. Because,Vasu is not any man. He is not dazed by the girl's overtures. No, not even when she abandons her integrity for a moment, and rushes up to the stage to plant a kiss on his cheek. We could just let go of the fact that she looked like having made the most awkward move of her life. Love is what matters, you see. Everything else is secondary.
A technique backfiring on you is not so common an instance, I agree. But you get to see even this in 'Vaadamalli'. Diverse versions of the same narrative sound like an interesting idea, but what if almost everyone in the crowd starts telling the story? The end product is a jumble with different accounts jutting into one another and continuity lapses galore.
This is a film that very rarely connects to the audience. It almost looks like a hotchpotch of still images that have been merged together, and a story thrown in at the last minute, simply because a tale has to be told. The script and the screenplay falter big time, and there is nothing much that anyone else can do about it.
I would like to specially mention two people who leave a mark even amidst all this chaos. Rahul Madhav is terrific actor material, and with the right directors and opportunities, I'm sure we would get to see more of this charming man in the future. Vaidy S Pillai has done the grueling task of capturing even the most ridiculous scenes beautifully on his camera. And the results show!
You see the first few shots of the film, and brace yourself up for a visual fiesta that you feel, is going to be different from the usual lot. The first three minutes over, you realize that life could be so unpredictable. Hmm.