Saturday Night Malayalam Movie
On first impressions, Roshan Andrews' Saturday Night seems to have all the ingredients for a good friendship film. In Nivin Pauly, Siju Wilson, Saiju Kurup, and Aju Varghese, it has four actors with great chemistry on screen. Except for Saiju Kurup, all four members of the gang are friends off screen too. This helps establish an easy-to-like vibe of friendship on screen. The movie tries to sell its big ideas, like "live in the moment" and "live life to the fullest," sincerely, but these are not original themes.
Stanley (Nivin Pauly) is the happy-go-lucky guy in the gang with a plan to celebrate Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday followed by a Saturday night party before he goes off for his new pilot job. However, he finds it challenging to execute his plan as differences of opinion and small rifts start to threaten the longevity of their friendship. The four of them go their separate ways, but life situations again bring them back together. Will Stanley's big plan ever materialize?
Stanley's plan seems like a silly excuse for a movie. Usually, films that celebrate male bonding show the passing of time so well. But the characters in Saturday Night hardly grow old enough on screen for us to feel the effect of passing time. This is why some dialogues, like "you are the same as before," do not land as authentically as they could. The four members of the gang all look and behave identically, even after years of separation. This is a major issue that deprives the film of its authenticity.
Another big issue is with the Nivin Pauly character. At some point, something happens to Stanley, and the movie spends way too long in the lunatic zone without even bothering to explain it. The intent is to bring out some laughter, but there is little funny about the situations here.
Besides, the conflicts between these friends are resolved so easily that it seems silly for someone to even make a movie about them. The movie also has the late Pratap Pothen in a small role, yesteryear actress Shari, and Saniya Iyappan. The women get the seriously underwritten parts. I felt bad for Saniya Iyappan, who now perhaps holds the record for riding a bike for the longest time on screen without even changing the gear.
This static-ness applies to the whole movie itself. It glides along for way too long without any major change in the plot, narrative, or tone. Nevertheless, it is fun to spend some time with the four actors at the heart of the film. Their chemistry is so good that I enjoyed the film to an extent, although I wish they were in a film with better writing. Jakes Bejoy's soothing background music is another redeeming quality of this madcap film.