‘Vivaha Avahanam’ movie review: The story of an unusual marriage that largely impresses with its humour

A still from ‘Vivaha Avahanam’

A still from ‘Vivaha Avahanam’

‘Avahanam’, meaning invoking the divine spirit, hints at the supernatural. In Vivaha Avahanam, this happens to get two souls married!

The film comes with the tagline, ‘An extraordinary wedding, based on true incidents’. The Sajan Alummoottil-directorial is a satirical take on contemporary society, and takes a dig at every other topic that one can think of; from political parties, religious practices and caste to superstitions, gender inequality, marriages and media.

The story is set in the families of Bhaskaran and Prabhakaran, who follow different political ideologies and have different religious beliefs. So when their children, Swathi and Arun, fall in love and decide to get married, they oppose it. The couple eventually takes their life.

However, when a series of mishaps fall on him, Bhaskaran, the god-fearing one, consults an astrologer, who arrives at the conclusion that the couple is not at peace after their death and so, they should get the two souls married. Therein begins his efforts to convince Prabhakaran, the staunch Communist and non-believer. Meanwhile, the couple, now in the presence of Chitragupta — the deity who assigns heaven or hell to the dead based on their deeds on Earth — is not enthused about getting married.

It takes a while for the audience to warm up to the story. The blend of fantasy into the screenplay is not seamless and so it might appear less impactful. However, the movie picks up steam later, especially when preparations start for the unusual wedding.

Even though the satire does not come out as savage in all the scenes, one gets some vicarious pleasure from certain dialogues. Especially those that take potshots at the ruling parties at the Centre and the State for their double standards. The so-called protectors of culture and the astrologers who take advantage of the gullible are also not spared.

It is also commendable that the film does not take sides and even raises pertinent questions about certain current issues. Some progressive thoughts have also been injected into the story; for example, the circumstance under which Arun and Swathi meet for the first time.

The earnest performances by the cast is the mainstay of the film. Zhinz Shan and Alexander Prasanth essay the roles of Bhaskaran and Prabhakaran respectively with much finesse and ease, while Niranj impresses as Arun, especially with his dialogue delivery and nonchalant attitude.

Nithaarah, the new face who plays Swathi, has written the story and screenplay as well.

Rajeev Pillai has tried to break his handsome hunk image with his cameo role. One wished there were more scenes for Aju Varghese [as Chitragupta], Sudhi Kopa and Sabumon, for the fine actors they are.

Vivaha Avahanam is currently playing in theatres

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