Cinematographer turned director Rajeev Ravi had set his maiden film, Annayum Rasoolum, in Fort Kochi.
It features a young man hailing from a suburban town who falls in love with a girl. After some effort, the girl respondspositively. When things are set to become hunky dory, the youth inadvertently become involved in an unexpected happening. And with that, their lives are changed forever.
Njan Steve Lopez is basically the same.
Of course, the difference is that the story is happening at Thiruvananthapuram and as if to remind us about the setting, some of the characters repeat branded local slang such as “Entheru”.
Steve Lopez (Farhaan Faasil), the son of a DySP, is a lazy degree student with no real goals in life. He spends most of his time fooling around with his friends, ogling at a neighbourhood woman and being glued on to WhatsApp. The first half hour of the film goes pretty smoothly as romance blossoms in his life, when Anjali (Ahaana Krishnakumar) falls for him.
But Steve gets into trouble trying to save a criminal, who is brutally attacked by his rival gang. Though everyone around him try to dissuade him from getting involved in it, the young man exhibits true grit by helping the cops in nabbing the culprits. However, things don’t happen the way he wants it to.
Njan Steve Lopez is modeled in those genres of films, which move away from the usual style of storytelling that Malayali audiences are familiar with. The viewer is left with several clues to get involved in the narrative and to come up with their own versions.
But things get into a mangled mess soon after, as this just about two-hour long film becomes a boring affair.
If Annayum Rasoolum was heavily inspired by the Gangs of Wasseypur series in its basic framework, Rajeev Ravi has made Njan Steve Lopez as a bargain basement version of his earlier film. The film indeed tries to make some political statements but the effort ends up as half-baked, at best.
Newcomers Farhaan Faasil and Ahaana Krishnakumar are fine. Sujith Sankar comes up with a superb show, along with an impressive show from Anil.
No two ways about it, Njan Steve Lopez is definitely not a bad attempt. The film in fact, tries to move away from the conventional format and expects the viewer to create their own worlds of imagination with some random thoughts. But sadly in the process, the narrative loses its grip. Try this one at your own risk!