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Athisayangalude Venal review: Surprise that leaves you with slice of innocent life

Release Date: 13 Oct 2017 / 01hr 57min

Cinestaan Rating

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Shriram Iyengar

This wonderful little film by Prasanth Vijay is surprisingly entertaining, funny, and unique in its story.

The reason makers of children's films are admired is the innocence that they have managed to preserve. It is their tender-heartedness that allows them to recreate a world that is unadulterated by the prejudices, fears and selfishness of adults. In Athisayangalude Venal (The Summer Of Miracles), Prasanth Vijay manages to recreate one such world that makes for a delightful film.

The film begins with the wondrous world of Anu (Chandra Kiran GK), a nine-year-old-boy obsessed with being invisible. Curious, determined and almost oblivious to the realities of the world around him, Anu develops this fascination for invisibility after his father 'disappears'.

Having tried, unsuccessfully, all means to make the boy understand, his mother (Reina Maria, who is brilliant) comes up with a plan to pretend that he is invisible for a while. However, instead of removing his obsession, it only pushes him further into his own oblivious world.

Into this world comes his cousin Gayathri (Arya Manikandan), who has a secret of her own. Under the cloak of his invisibility, Anu sets out to discover 'other people' with such powers and finalizes on following Gayathri. This leads to some funny incidents that set the movie on its way. While Gayathri is out investigating her own mystery, Anu enters the game and spoils the whole deal, leaving a scar that neither can escape.

The performances of Anu, Gayathri, and Anu's mother are captivating. They are real, well etched and beautifully placed in a constantly moving film. The scenes of incidental comedy are particularly impactful as they are not overtly hilarious. They are like the silly, bad jokes you would crack with your friends on a day out. They might not always work, but they are original.

Prasanth manages to create a world for Anu that is perfect. The director deserves praise for capturing the little eccentricities of a nine-year-old without making it look childish. He also shows the ability to tell a story from both the adult's and the child's perspective without sounding biased at any time.

The incidents look and feel real without being forced or imitative. Anu's eventual realization and growing up, though necessary, almost disappoints you as an audience. You only wish he had remained a young Sherlock, an unsuccessful one at that, so as to create more hilarities in a bored life.

At the red carpet for the opening film, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra had advised fans to 'go surprise' themselves by watching films that were out of the box. Athisayangalude Venal certainly is a surprise and will leave you with a slice of innocent life that is not always sweet but is well worth the time.

Athisayangalude Venal was screened at the 19th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival on 13 October 2017.