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Monsoon Mangoes  ( U ) (2016)  (Malayalam)
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Monsoon Mangoes Review

'Monsoon Mangoes' is little more than a harmless caper that struggles in vain to drive home a point.
2 out of 5 (Average) Monsoon Mangoes NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Veeyen
Rating: Crictiq: 2.0 - Read Review  2/5
Nowrunning Critics: 2.0/5 | Users: 1.8/5
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A corny film producer insists that the audience is on the lookout for hair-raising material in films, and that artsie stuff doesn't sell any more. I am more than glad to settle for something infinitely lesser than the hair raising type, and yet 'Monsoon Mangoes' is little more than a harmless caper that struggles in vain to drive home a point.

So its DP Pallickal (Fahadh Fazil) that the film has as its protagonist, a young man in his thirties and based in the US, who dreams of directing his film that he has creatively titled as the 'Monsoon Mangoes'. DP has already had the (mis)experience of having directed a few misfires earlier, the infamy of which he has been living with.

When he comes across a long-faded Bollywood superstar Prem Kumar (Vijay Raaz) who currently earns a living by distributing flyers at a super market, DP sees the golden chance of bringing about a much-needed transformation in Malayalam cinema that has been ridden with sex and sleaze. Prem Kumar doesn't take too kindly to his offer though, and it takes a while before DP is able to convince the actor to play the leading role in his film.

The film also throws in a range of supporting characters, ranging from DP's dad (Nandu) who is a mail man who tries selling off a Lehyam, the recipe of which has been passed down his family, across generations. There is Rekha (Iswarya Menon) whom DP has a soft spot for, his assistant (Vinay Fort) who much to his chagrin, has been previously utilized as an actor as well and Sashankan (Thampi Antony), and NRI who has been churning out insufferable music albums by the dozen.

Despite all of these and more, 'Monsoon Mangoes' lacks the life that makes films interesting, and does not qualify as excellent cinema. Come to think of it, it narrates an oft-told tale of a man trying against the odds to make his dream come true, and eventually making it to the finishing line with a few hardcore realizations in tow.

The major (and only) difference lies in the fact that this man happens to be an NRI and that the film itself is based in the US. Apart from that, 'Monsoon Mangoes' follows a recognizable pattern, with the dream occupying the forefront, the efforts and trials following suit, the invariable setbacks that render the going tough and the ultimate gleam of success and a load of appreciative smiles that lie scattered all around.

The film does make a relatable statement amidst all this that emphasizes that cinema is never larger than life, and its life that in due course looms large. As Prem Kumar helplessly watches his film poster being coldly replaced by the poster of a fresh film that has come by, the realization dawns on him. A scene that comes across as a master stroke amidst a mindless melee of many others, this one is the kind of a moment that the corny film producer must have been talking about at the outset.

DP is safe in Fahadh's hands, but he has a tremendous competitor on the scene here, who is none other than Vijay Raaz. Perhaps he is the reason why 'Monsoon Mangoes' makes you think of Prem Kumar more than DP; why they say some actors are just born to be!

'Monsoon Mangoes' looks terrific (Lukasz Pruchnik is the man behind the camera) and has aan striking musical score by Jakes Bejoy. And yet, the generic twists and turns in it makes it a film that doesn't really amount much more than a non-toxic afternoon watch.
Critic: Veeyen
 2 out of 5 (Average) 2 out of 5 (Average)  

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