Leela review: Average watch

Leela review: Average



Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 25 April 2016

Movie Title

Leela review: Average watch



Star Cast

Biju Menon, Parvathy Nambiar

Director Ranjith's Leela is based on a short story of the same title by Unni R. The focus is mainly on the wayward life of a wealthy chronic bachelor named Kuttiyappan, hailing from Kottayam.

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Kuttiyappan (Biju Menon) is good at heart and is enjoying life to the fullest with wine and women. He has a confidant named Pillechan (Vijayaraghavan) for company, who watches Kuttiyappan’s escapades silently.

If you have read the short story, it will be interesting to watch the characters come alive. But one can’t help feeling that the visuals that we see on screen are not spectacular enough as the ones that come to our mind while reading the story. The small incidents that are the highlights of the story have been shown in detail here but with a lesser impact.

The idea is simple. Most part of the film celebrates the naughty traits of a man and his craving for sex. But towards the end things suddenly change with some noble messages that justifies the actions until then, as it was there in films like Trivandrum Lodge or Dolphins for instance.

Of course, we are not saying that the hero in a film need be all virtuous. But it is plain hypocritical to make a hero out of some pleasure-seekers, conveniently masking it all with some “kindness” that the makers think is an excuse for all the antics until then.

And just to make it all hip, the hero is seen calling the names of all the Gods, including believe it or faint, “Dinkan”. Good try, but not good enough!

The effort is to paint Kuttiyappan as one with noble intentions but the film barely succeeds in making us feel so and instead, he ends up as a guy doing silly things one after the other. The example is the scene where he parades a group of “retired sex workers” and ends up mocking them. You call all this hypocrisy as modern thinking?

More than an adaptation of his own short story, Unni R has tried to mould the screenplay to suit Ranjith's archetypal hero, which was seen in films like Devasuram, Araam Thampuran or Narasimham. The main difference is that the hero here has only a desperation to quench his sexual urge.

Biju Menon is quite convincing as Kuttiyappan and he has played his character honestly. But at times he tends to overdo it all and ends up repeating some of his trademark mannerisms, which he has been carrying on after Ordinary and later in Vellimoonga.

Actors like Vijayaraghavan and Indrans are good. Parvathy Nambiar has nothing much to do. But it is Jagadeesh's character a man who has raped his own daughter, that stands out from the rest with a superb performance.

Leela has its moments here and there, but is mostly meandering without a specific direction to travel. If all you want to enjoy is some laughs watching those double meaning dialogues, it’s there in regular intervals. But once you start delving deep into this film, you will realize this one sends all the wrong messages.

Still, at least they are trying and in the process, make you think. That for sure, is an achievement.

Leela review: Verdict: Average

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