Jayasurya-starrer Vellam dives into the depths of alcoholism and wades into inspirational stuff.
Written and directed by Prajesh Sen, Vellam too revolves around the addiction theme, though the plot later changes course.
To depict the level of addiction of the protagonist, the filmmakers have unleashed umpteen situations.
Jayasurya's lead character is a village youth who can go to any level to fetch his drink.
He can also create a ruckus, plunge into despair after the drink which he cannot hold. This is a classical case of the drink biting our man, but the script would have been better without so many of these situations.
The filmmaker could have rather experimented with fewer, intense scenes to show the wobbly streaks of the lead character.
Instead the plot throws up many lose scenarios which sort of prolongs the agony of the character's kith and kin as well as the movie.
Despite the interval break coming in at just an hour, this leaves a feeling of long-winding effect. The editor's role should have come into play to cut short the protracted scenes.
Deft cinematography by Puthiya Niyamam fame Roby Varghese Raj with some tight and sharp frames though undoes the damage, along with songs.
Through out the first half, the protagonist's wife (Samyuktha Menon) remains a mute spectator to the tantrums thrown by Jayasurya's Murali.
When the plot thickens in the second half, the angst-ridden wife explodes as is expected. Samyuktha has come up with a restrained performance.
The kith and kin of Murali bears the brunt of his wobbly ways as they end up being insulted along with him in front of relatives. Still the plot allows them to be subdued towards Murali's binge.
It also doesn't bother to portray how he ends up as an alcoholic. Vellam instead pans the camera more often than needed into Murali's hunt for a high and the resultant issues.
By allowing this to happen, the script injects and overdose of melodrama which should have been definitely done away with. That is a drag which will evidently nag the viewers.
As Malayam's first theatrical release post covid, it remains to be seen how Vellam will lure the viewers to the cinemas.
Murali's self realisation about his addiction and his efforts to get rid of it lacks conviction.
Vellam then steers into the motivational path after de-addiction discourse, which prompts a bit of sermonising.
The trajectory of Vellam charts the predictable path of salvation.
Jayasurya's stellar effort is Vellam's highlight, though the mannerisms of an alcoholic may necessitate a comparison with Mohanlal's character with similar shades in Spirit, which was an outstanding portrayal.
Siddique, Santhosh Keezhattoor, Baiju Santhosh and Sreelakshmi have done their bit in Vellam, which the filmmakers have tagged as The Essential Drink.
Only time will tell how Vellam will essentially stir up the Mollywood box office. The message of Vellam, though, is lofty.