It is a start of another weekend and it is indeed a “Good” Friday. The long weekend brings with it its share of new content but none bigger than the much awaited and anticipated film KGF Chapter 2 which I will be getting to over the weekend. And this solo release has ensured that the OTT content is a little quieter than usual. Having said that, there are a few new releases which I will be covering, all in all an exciting weekend ahead, so lets get started. If you have been following my reviews then you would know that Amazon Prime had released its slate of Malayalam films starting with Pada almost three weeks ago. And today, the trilogy ends with the release of Veyil which stars Shane Nigam who I believe is a terrific actor himself. And I finished watching Veyil on Amazon Prime not knowing what exactly to expect. So then does Veyil impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Veyil follows the story of Siddharth as it traces his journey from his school life exploring his strained relationship with his mother and brother. The story is nuanced and layered and the more it unfolds the more involved you get. The moment the film began it gave me a feeling that this was a coming of age story and I was willing to soak myself in the sea of nostalgia all over again. But, this wasn’t that tale. This was slightly more darker and intense than I had imagined it to be. The screenplay standing at over 150 minutes is a little daunting. And it unfolds at a leisurely pace. At the very beginning, you may find it hard to understand the conversations. But as the film progresses, you get to understand the dynamics of the characters. As they say, life is all about opportunities and grabbing them and the screenplay shows exactly that. At times we also feel hard done in by our own family which does take a toll on you as a person. It is then that people spree on the wrong path which is again what was nicely shown here.
The subtle twists and turns are genuinely bittersweet here and they keep you engaged. The issue in the screenplay was in the second hour where I felt it was slightly uneven. Things began getting repetitive and at times the sequences lacked clarity as well. I felt a few minutes coukd have been edited out especially early on in the second hour thereby ironing out its flaws. But the film gets back on track in the last 30 odd minutes. A terrific confrontation scene between the two brothers remained by favourite from the film. The unexpected dark ending really took me by surprise and that may not cater to everyone. But I thought about it and came to a conclusion that while life gives you second chances, it may not always be as sweet as you expect them to be. So overall, a well written screenplay which was something different from the mainstream stuff.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and they manage to hold your attention. The music is unique sounding and pretty impressive. The BGM blends well with the drama. The cinemaography is breathtaking capturing the locales very well. Director Sarath does a fabulous job here. He is able to portray the protagonist with such vulnerability yet poise that you manage to sympathize with him without really rooting for him in the second hour.
The performances are quite astounding here. James Eliya as Baby Mathew is wily and conniving in a job well done. Shine Tom Chacko as Jony is earnest and sincere with a bit of restraint which was refreshing to watch. Neha Unnikrishnan manages to really impress. Harikrishnan as Hari is outstanding and his performance will make you stand up and take notice of him. Merin Jose Pottackal as Merin is a friend everyone wishes to have, and he is first rate here. Imran Sayd as Karthi really puts forth a noteworthy performance. He is sincere yet quietly affable and his character really touches your heart. Sona Olickal as Sruthi looks very pretty and has a great screen presence, I wish to watch more of her going forward. Sreerekhaa as Radha is top notch and quite a natural onscreen. Which brings me to Shane Nigam in yet another towering performance as Siddharth. He represents a man in depression and he really has to internalize his performance. And after Bhoothakaalam, this was another complex role which he pulled off with utmost ease. The more I looked at him, the more I wanted to study his performance. He was truly terrific to say the least.
Veyil is a bittersweet tale of second chances that will leave you with exactly that feeling. And it is well worth your time. Available on Amazon Prime.