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Malayalam Movie Review: Watch Seniors & Get Back in Campus



I didn't plan to watch "Seniors." The promos didn't impress me. A close friend smsed me saying that she loved the movie and that I've got to go and watch it. That made me sit up. She doesn't usually sms me about a movie.  I booked my tickets. I expected it to be a comedy or something of the sort relating to law college. The four stars - Jayaram, Biju Menon, Manoj K Jayan and our swantham Kunchaks ( as we gals call him affectionately) packed in a real entertainer under the direction of Vysakh - the same director who made the movie Pokiri Raja (starring Mammooty and Prithviraj). I enjoyed the movie. It had so many entertaining moments, packed with college campus pranks, fun and mysterious moments. Some scenes that I found totally hilarious can't be mentioned here so I guess you've just got to watch it and find out for yourself. The music was awful and left one with a feeling 'please end it fast so that we can get on with the movie!'

The story is about 4 friends who are waiting to welcome Jayram, who's just got out of jail for killing a girl during his college days and had to undergo a 12 year sentence in jail. The friends, who had become quite successful and respectable by then, unite with him. They even buy him a fab house but that is not what he wants. He wants them all to go back to college and relive those days that he had missed. They know he is innocent and they want to see him happy because he had lost 12 years of his life.

From here, it becomes entertaining and mysterious. The "senior" guys come back to college with a real bang and we are kept guessing about the killer throughout. By interval, I had guessed it pretty well but I liked the way they explained it.

Personally, I feel that the role didn't suit Jayaram. He needs to identify characters that suit his style and give him more opportunities for performance. Siddhique's role in this movie was far better and meatier. Jayaram's roles are getting far too repetitive and that's not good for him as an actor. I didn't like his portrayal of this character he represented in the movie. He didn't fit in with what it required.

Biju Menon's performance stood out in terms of the characterization. His dialogues, body language and expressions were so funny. I always saw him as a very serious actor but this movie brings out the really funny side to him. However, as an actor, he needs to get back in shape if he wants to do more vibrant and interesting characters.

Manoj K Jayan didn't get a great role but he made the best of it. His charisma and stylish presence oozed through the character. In some places, he slips into a 'feminine' mode which is totally unsuitable for the person & icon that he is. It comes across as contrived or artificial. In terms of his looks and screen presence, he towered over the others. The director, in my opinion, underutilized his acting capabilities. The hero, who delivered amazing and mature performances in Malayalam classics like Salaapam, Venkalam, etc. deserved better.
Kunchacko Boban, the evergreen heart throb of Malayali girls and now fast evolving into a serious actor, delivered a mature performance. Though his screen presence was fragmented particularly due to Manok K Jayan's magnetic charisma, this young actor has great talent and ability that would have reached greater potential in this movie if he had been given more memorable moments and dialogues to match it. Again, an under utilized actor in this film and more of eye candy.

As always, Siddique and Shammi Thilakan rendered memorable performances. 

As a regular Malayalam movie goer, I felt disappointed in the way the female characters were etched out - totally uncool, predictable and boring. In Malayalam especially, we have such fine artists. You can just step into any of our colleges and meet some truly interesting characters  - none of them made it on screen even in character roles. Or, in Pokkiriraja too, the women were just running around trees. Not all Malayalam directors can be like Kamal and Lal Jose, who among contemporaries create 'real women' as characters in their movies.  

But wait, guess who the real killer was?
I'd say go and watch it. You will feel that you're back in campus again!
 
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