Iyer in Arabia Malayalam Movie
Riding on a quasi satire mode, 'Iyer in Arabia' takes a potshot at the malicious spread of practices in the name of religion and custom. Writer-director M A Nishad invests ample time to ridicule the frivolous and narrow-minded views of people who always brag about their caste and religion. The facile treatment of incidents in the family of the hero is a perfect platform for the film that becomes alive in the first half at the expense of the absurd and intolerant views of Sreenivasa Iyer, played by Mukesh.
As a director, Nishad holds an objective view while lampooning the unhealthy norms embraced by self-proclaimed leaders and followers of religion and culture. But when the film's premise is shifted to Dubai, the plot exudes its aimless nature though the purpose of the tale is to expose the struggle of Iyer to reconcile with a different culture, besides holding firmly on to his religious values. The potential theme of the movie gets sullied in the second half with the progress of the tale becoming uneven on the terrains of the Gulf due to lack of a coherent plot.
Iyer is very orthodox and possessive about his son Rahul, essayed by Dhyan Sreenivasan. His wife Thansi Rani, played by Urvashi, who is a teacher and vlogger, has a liberal mentality and supports her son's ambition to work in Dubai. But Iyer becomes restless when he sees the flamboyant lifestyle of his son in another country. He along with his wife leaves for Dubai and it disrupts the life of Rahul.
A dissent crops up between Rahul and Sreenivasa Iyer when the former decides to go ahead with his own lifestyle by neglecting the customs and values of his caste. Rahul's love affair with Saira, played by Durga Krishna, is the major conflict in the plot. Her father business magnet Subair Haji, essayed by Alencier, is a riveting character in the movie. Shine Tom Chacko appears as Freddy, who is a friend of Rahul, and performance-wise, the actor gets limited space.
Though the strength of screenplay dwindles in the middle, 'Iyer in Arabia' accomplishes in extracting a full-fledged performance from seasoned actors like Mukesh and Urvashi. As a smart homemaker and teacher, Urvashi shines in her assigned space by impressively exuding the peculiar mannerisms of the character. Mukesh leverages the screen space nicely with his typical performance and mien. The scope for performance is limited for Dhyan in the role of a typical modern youngster.
The script aims at creating a perfect satire as characters played by Sunil Sukhada, Jaffer Idukki and Sudheer Karamana remind us of the current controversial socio-political issues. There are glimpses of satirical elements in the tale but shortage of riveting ideas in the latter half pulls the plug on the progress of the film, accelerating its downfall rapidly. In short, a potential thread goes awry when the film wanders aimlessly on the terrains of the Middle East.