'Ayalvaashi' is a delightful comedy-drama featuring Soubin Shahir and Binu Pappu in the lead roles, directed by Irshad Parari. The story revolves around a small misunderstanding between two close friends and neighbours, Thaju (played by Soubin) and Benny (played by Binu Pappu). Benny is wrongly accused of trying to sell a damaged scooter, which results in him being humiliated in public and in front of his father-in-law. He suspects Thaju of being behind the false accusation, and Thaju vows to prove his innocence, thus laying the foundation of the plot.
Soubin's portrayal of Thaju is impressive, and the character's financial struggles add an extra layer of depth to the story. The first half of the movie focuses on the misunderstanding between the friends. Somewhere, the movie does remind the viewers of instances from 'Maheshinte Prathikaram' in parts like how the lead character's ego is hurt and how he wows revenge. The film explores the fragility of the male ego, but the light treatment of the theme may leave the audience wanting for more dramatic intensity. The movie provides us with a glimpse into the personal lives of both lead characters' families. While Thaju and Benny are depicted as close friends, the depth of their bond is not fully explored, which makes it challenging for the audience to empathize with them when they have a tiff.
The movie's first half concludes with Thaju's determination to find the real culprit and avenge the injustice. However, this determination does not carry over into the second half, and the audience may not sense the same intensity in Soubin's character. While he does make an effort to uncover the mystery around the scooter, the execution of his pursuit may lack conviction. But it is definitely interesting to see how Thaju, with the help of their common friend Ajippan (played by Gokulan) try to unveil the truth. Although the movie attempts to add a comedic and unexpected element to the climax, the overall execution falls short of expectations. While the director may have intended to infuse a lighthearted touch to the storytelling, it seems to have affected the overall theme of the movie.
Soubin and Gokulan dominate most of the screen time, but their scenes together are well-crafted and enjoyable. The ensemble cast, including Nikhila Vimal, Lijo Mol Jose, Naslen, Kottayam Nazeer, and Jagadish, all deliver noteworthy performances. However, Kottayam Nazeer's cameo stands out with his amusing yet nuanced character. Soubin maintains his usual grounded performance, but his character's struggles with the taunts of family and friends are sure to tug at the audience's emotions. With minimal words or mannerisms, Soubin's screen presence evokes a deep connection with the audience. Gokulan's character Ajippan in the movie is the true embodiment of comedy. He reminds one of Sreenivasan's character 'Joey' from the movie 'Friends'. He means well but he is a complete chaos. Although he appears to be helping Soubin's character throughout the movie, his back-to-back poor judgments provoke laughter among the audience. Binu Pappu delivers a decent performance in the movie, and his scenes with his mother are particularly amusing to watch.
Ayalvaashi presents a lighthearted story with a simple theme and a talented cast. The film attempts to explore the consequences of a hurt ego but falls short in execution, resulting in several aspects of the movie feeling underwhelming and not reaching their full potential. However, the movie still manages to be enjoyable, with a homely vibe throughout its runtime.