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    1. #1
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      Aravind Krishnan's Avatar
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      Default Aarattu: A Watchable Masala Entertainer

      Venue: Novo Ibn Battutta, 8:40 am
      Status: around 10 people

      Having gone into the film with normal expectations of a carnival style entertainer with Mohanlal in full form, I have to honestly say that I wasn't fully satisfied with the outcome. That said, Aarattu is still a movie to be experienced in theaters involving a below average first half, a fab interval punch and decent second half which doesn't rise above average until an excellent last 20 minutes that elevates the overall product quality.

      I would say the best way to view Aarattu, especially in the 1st half, is a spoof of old Lal films, some comedy, a 'mass' intro, other characters singing the protagonist's praises etc. Storywise, Aarattu offers nothing new and the screenplay is to blame. In fact more than a B Unnikrishnan film, Aarattu is more an Udaykrishna style film for the most part and somewhat suffers as a result. I would say the last 30 minutes was more the director stepping in and that was where the movie gets better. The AR Rahman show and subsequent fight is a must-see in theaters and magnificently picturised. I felt like I was watching ARR live. The show was really well integrated with the fast-cut punch and kick sequences and Mohanlal looking fit as a fiddle with some mass expressions. The Lal fan in me liked the climax scene but from a neutral perspective, it just felt like another lazy rip-off of Lucifer climax.

      Udaykrishna tried something different by presenting Neyattinkara Gopan as a comic figure who ridicules his previous avatars, but I was not sure if Mohanlal was fully comfortable portraying this character especially in the initial portions. I didnt like many of the comic scenes involving Lal though some of the spoof references came out well especially Chandralekha scene. That said, I appreciated the novel attempt to show two sides of the actor someone who says 'Nennu chala dangerous' in one breath and the over-the-top comic figure on the other side. Mohanlal really scores in the portions where he confronts the baddies in a more serious manner right from interval and the fight scenes throughout have been well taken (Lal's flexibility and energy at the age of 60 + is something to wonder at!). I would further state that Mohanlal really did well uttering the various non-Malayalam dialogues that came throughout.
      Post the second half, it seemed Mohanlal was more comfortable as his portrayal became more true to his usual self. The rest of the humongous cast don't have much to do with Johnny Antony and Siddique standing out in a bad way. Shradha Srinath was quite good. The villains have not much screen space though Jacobinte Swargarajyam villain (Ashwin Kumar?) did well. Vijay Raghavan was the one actor who really stood out screen presence wise and could stand toe-to-toe with Lal. Sai Kumar was having fun in his brief role.

      Technically, Aarattu is worth watching for Rahul Raj's fantastic BGM and colourful cinematography. The cinematographer especially deserves a pat on the back for the 'Muqabala' song. The other songs have come out well, especially Onnam Kunnu, though the addictive theme music could have been utilised better. Sound design is another highlight. Editing in the 1st half could have been better.

      Overall, Aarattu is a one-time watchable film showing Mohanlal the star in all his glory with immense screen presence and some well-taken fight scenes. It needed a better script, fewer characters and a more focused story to really become a memorable film. I do wish the 1st half focused more on Gopan as a mysterious, serious character than obsession over comedy and double-meaning dialogues.

      Rating: 3/5
      Last edited by Aravind Krishnan; 18th February 2022 at 02:44 PM.

    2. #2
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      Thanks for the review. I felt your opinion or rating might change once you watch the movie in a theatre with 75% occupancy. We might not be able to enjoy a mass masala movie in a theatre with an attendance of 10 ppl.

      Sent from my ONEPLUS A6010 using Tapatalk

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by baappootty View Post
      Thanks for the review. I felt your opinion or rating might change once you watch the movie in a theatre with 75% occupancy. We might not be able to enjoy a mass masala movie in a theatre with an attendance of 10 ppl.

      Sent from my ONEPLUS A6010 using Tapatalk
      Agreed 100%. Perhaps I may enjoy the movie more if I watch it once again at a later stage.
      Some movies are like that, I expected something else from the 1st half based on the trailer. But by the 2nd half things worked out better.
      Hope your thread becomes a roaring success as well as the film.
      Last edited by Aravind Krishnan; 18th February 2022 at 03:35 PM.

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      Thanks Aravind. Good review.

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      Watching ആറാട്ട് with 10 people is a crime

      I noticed and agree with almost all your points especially negatives... The reason I overlooked is because the makers claims and Udaykrishna.

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      Quote Originally Posted by intexaqua View Post
      Watching ആറാട്ട് with 10 people is a crime

      I noticed and agree with almost all your points especially negatives... The reason I overlooked is because the makers claims and Udaykrishna.
      Covid undallo...Always trying to watch films with less audience But in this case, it was probably a mistake. Lucifer in Peringotukara Deva during 3rd day was electrifying experience as it was HF

    7. #7
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      Thanks Aravind..

    8. #8
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      Thx AK

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      Good review bro

      But, unlike you i felt if the makers had gone for the same story structure that's is of a silly spoof in the second half too ,this would have been a far better film. the sudden serious tonal change in the second half killed the character they had shown in the first half.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Raj2000 View Post
      Good review bro

      But, unlike you i felt if the makers had gone for the same story structure that's is of a silly spoof in the second half too ,this would have been a far better film. the sudden serious tonal change in the second half killed the character they had shown in the first half.
      I am someone who prefers Lucifer to Pulimurugan because, I am a fan of Mohanlal's 'silent mass' style films more than his loud mass masala films. Indrajalam, Moonam Mura, Naduvazhikal etc. Usthad is probably his last such movie and effectively integrated with the ever-sacrificing brother theme which added a new dimension to the Usthad/Parameswaran character.

      I had gone into the film expecting that change. The director is known for presenting Lal in different getups in the same film (Villain, Fraud). Also in the trailer there is a scene where people are rushing towards Mohanlal who is wearing jacket and jeans, he ducks and then punches the next guy. It was watching that scene and the ARR sequence (I am a big ARR fan) that made me excited for the film. What I did not expect was a crass comedic first half and that too Mohanlal struggling to render said comedies. He usually is effortless in comedy even now (this was B Unni's failure as much as Lal's). That said, I might enjoy those sequences in a second watch. I didn't mind the Colonel portion as it was quickly edited and at least I felt there was something going on as opposed to the lack of plot in 1st half. The train robbery portion was well done. IInd half also was not so bad because Mohanlal seemed to have settled down a bit more after those poorly taken comic scenes.

      Coming to the pre-climax ARR Concert scene and last fight scene, I really enjoyed those portions. In combination with the train robbery, I never felt this was a movie taken during Covid times. There was a richness to the film in those sequences. Honestly seeing ARR and Lal together in one frame and Mukabala song was enough to justify the ticket admission price for me. Plus the last scene was enjoyable as a fan even if it didn't add anything to the movie as such.

      I am someone who really enjoys fight scenes in movies. Not someone who likes these naadan thallu so much. I prefer fast-cut fight scenes. Mohanlal has performed such a scene in Butterflies. Similarly Usthad is different from Aaramthamburan and Narasimham in its emphasis towards faster fight sequences (first 20 minutes in Usthad is ultimate epicness). Hence the fast-cut fight scene in Aarattu along with the Garuda fight sequence were my fav fight sequences in the film. Similarly, in Lucifer, while I loved Mohanlal's fight scenes in theater, in repeat watches, Prithviraj's fast fight scenes in IInd half were well taken and seemed better than the former, for me.

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