'Neelambari' directed by Hari Narayana is a film that takes us back by at least a couple of decades. The story that it tells is so primitive that it makes you cringe in your seats on account of its predictability.
Lekshmi (Vidya) and Parvathy (Bhama) are two Brahmin girls who grow up together in a small village called Thirunellai near Palghat. They are best friends and people often misinterpret them as twins. They join the Music Academy and both lose their hearts to Devanand, the lecturer (Vineeth). Parvathy gets pregnant from Dev and flees from the village, after she comes to know that Lekshmi is about to get married to him.
As I was wondering why they have chosen the title 'Neelambari' for the film, along comes the explanation. Parvathy says that the man who comes to marry the girls should be able to sing a song in Neelambari raga. Weird, huh?
What's even more weird is the way the two girls are dressed up all the time. If you are in an acquiescent mood, it might look pretty okay if they wear the same dresses at college. But wouldn't it seem atrocious if they wear the same costumes even in the middle of the night? Given they live in separate houses, I wonder when they have all those discussions as to what to wear the next day that should take up a sizable part of their lives.
This is a sob story that we have seen a million times. The naïve young girl who finds all the doors shut on her face, is as familiar to us as our tooth brush. Even the clichés have become tired, and the end result is pretty bland.
The film has a few surprises for you, the most amazing one of which is Anoop Menon who appears as a lorry driver in the film. The mother of all miscasts, Anoop looks like he got in the lorry just after having passed out of Cambridge. He tries hard to shed that polish off, but it made me wish even more that I got to see him in the role of a doctor or someone else who could be seated comfortably in a swanky sofa. The out of place wig doesn't help him much either.
Of the two female leads, I liked Vidya even better than Bhama, though the latter has more of an author backed role. Vidya is much more restrained in her performance, while Bhama goes for the overkill when the situation gets a bit too demanding. The comedy track that has Suraj Venjaramoodu and Harisree Ashokan along with Anoop Chandran doesn't offer many chuckles either.
'Neelambari' consists of recycled ideas tied up together to create some very unconvincing melodrama. It is never particularly interesting, and truly qualifies as disposable entertainment.
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