‘Hridayam’ movie review: Might not stir your soul, but will keep you entertained
Vineeth Sreenivasan is in familiar territory, displaying his knack of keeping the audience engaged, even when telling stories that we have seen many a time before on-screen
When a Vineeth Sreenivasan movie is about to arrive, one can sense the all-round feel-goodness from miles away, right from its carefully-crafted promos to the songs, which arrived in good old audio cassettes this time. It was apt, since nostalgia of various kinds happens to be his other selling point. Yet, there were points in Hridayam when Vineeth displayed more than a desire to break free of that cheerful, heartwarming mould and let his characters run wild, laying bare their demons. But then, the characters seem to get sudden realisations about the kind of movie that they are in, and get back to radiating goodness.
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The film has been conceived as different phases in the life of Arun Neelakandan (Pranav Mohanlal), that has shaped the person that he is at present. Rather than banking on a solid plot, the script takes us along on a journey which stretches to probably a decade or more from Arun’s life, beginning from his heady days in an engineering college in Chennai, to his life as a married man. Taking almost as much space in the narrative is Darshana (Darshana Rajendran), with whom Arun falls in love early on during their college days.
It is a love story which is quite short-lived, hitting the rocks even before the honeymoon period is over, but the impact of which remains with them, and by extension in the narrative. This also brings out the worst sides in both of them, but Vineeth, the writer, holds them back at various points from being destructive and taking the movie away from its ‘feel-good’ purpose.
- Director: Vineeth Sreenivasan
- Starring: Pranav Mohanlal, Darshana Rajendran, Kalyani Priyadarshan
For instance, the brooding Arun, who exhibits a wild streak, mysteriously starts tidying up the hostel room and studying hard one fine morning, although it is not clear what prompted the change. In the latter half, which chronicles Arun’s post-campus life, things are not so eventful with everything, including his relationship with Nithya (Kalyani Priyadarshan), proceeding a bit too fast. In the end, one wonders whether Arun has changed much at all from his early campus days, for the whole point of the movie was his transformation.
But for all the lack of depth that Vineeth is often accused of, he has a certain knack of keeping the audience engaged, even when telling stories that we have seen many a time before on-screen. He gets it right in the packaging and the pacing. Hesham Abdul Wahab’s also music adds a lot of verve, although there were points one wished the background music was toned down a bit and the violinist given some rest.
Though there is still room for improvement, Pranav has certainly come a long way from his initial solo outings, in which even his parkour skills could not make up for the lack of expressions. Here, he is much more assured and comfortable, managing to carry the film for a good part, even though Darshana steals the show whenever she gets an opportunity.
Hridayam might not stir your soul, but Vineeth has delivered enough to keep you entertained, which is no mean task when you have a runtime close to three hours.
Hridayam is currently running in theatres