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Arike malayalam movie review

Director Shyamaprasad’s ‘Arike’ starring Dileep, Mamta Mohandas and Samvrutha had got mixed reviews and ‘the movie is boring’ comments from many friends and acquaintances. When I sat down and watched it, the experience was slow, sweet and painful. It was an intoxication of sorts.

Arike malayalam movie: Simple story, Subtle Performances
‘Arike’s story is simple. It revolves around the perfect couple Shanthanu (starring Dileep) and Kalpana (starring Samvrutha Sunil) whose best friend is Anuradha (starring Mamta Mohandas). The characterisation is what makes the movie interesting despite its slow pace. From the start, we see that the happily in love couple relying solely on Anuradha to arrange their clandestine meetings.  Anuradha doesn’t believe in love but she desperately wants her best friend’s affair to culminate in marriage and prove her wrong.

Arike malayalam movie: Striking Characterization in Arike
Best friend Kalpana is from a rich Brahmin family and she is pampered by her parents whose world revolves around her every step, Anuradha has a totally different background. She belongs to a lower end middle class family. Unlike Kalpana whose clothes are fashionable and expensive, Anuradha wears clothes that are simple and plain. She does not have any expensive jewellery or accessories to pamper herself with. She wears no make up and looks strikingly plain throughout. Even as she does everything to make Shanthanu and Kalpana meet despite obstacles and opposition, she does not believe in love.
Once Anuradha says to Shanthanu, “I do not believe that true love exists.” 
He responds, “True love is always there. We make mistakes in finding true love in the right place, that’s all.”

The two lovers – Shanthanu and Kalpana – are madly in love with each other.
But you can sense that Kalpana is fickle and fleeting with the attention span of a butterfly. She embraces life, lives it for herself alone and sees nothing else as more important than her wants, her desires and she is almost child like in her self-absorbed behaviour.
Arike malayalam movie: Brilliant portrayal by supporting actors
The roles of Kalpana’s rich parents are fleshed out rather well by Innacent and Urmila Unni. The parents resonate with you because you would have come across parents like them umpteen number of times. They are obsessed with superstition about everything. Blind faith is another deep set malaise. At the same time, when you look at them, you know that all they want is their daughter’s happiness. They understand her nature better than anyone else and they are troubled by her fickleness because they know that love is a fleeting phase for her. To indulge it would be to allow her to ruin her life. They watch over her every movement with anxiety.
A scene that I particularly liked was where Innacent calls his daughter and narrates how on the day she was born, the doctor said it may be difficult to save both mother and child. He tells the doctor without hesitation to save the mother. But the mother, despite the fact that she is semi-conscious, insists that the child should be saved. He tells his daughter, “Don’t hurt your mother.”
All of us can connect to conversations like this in families. The way Director Shyama Prasad has woven it makes this worth watching.
Arike malayalam movie: My Verdict on the movie and Dileep's performance 

Most reviews have praised Dileep’s portrayal of this character. To be honest, I see Dileep’s portrayal as below average. He does not get into the skin of Shanthanu. He does not understand Shanthanu at all and does a shoddy, weakling’s job instead. The portrayal needed intensity in expression and performance. For the first time, I felt that the director cast the wrong person to portray the character called Shantanu. To my mind, the perfect choices are Manoj K Jayan, Indrajith or Biju Menon.
Do Shanthanu and Kalpana marry? Does Anuradha begin to believe in love through them? I don’t want to tell the whole story. To find out, you’ve got to watch this film.

Comments

Mom with a Dot said…
Very interesting. I think Anuradha will end up getting married to Shanthanu - but as you said, will go watch it :D !
A complicated compilation I suppose...
And I have fallen in love with the song... Iravil viriyum poo pole
jk said…
NGDCs .. In Mahabharath Shanthanu gets married to Ganges and then gives way to Satyavathy .. A probable correlation comes into mind ..
Susan Deborah said…
I like every single movie of SP's. The earlier Akale is seen as a prequel to this one, I think. His films touch the deepest core of human relationships. I always like the feel in his movies.

Joy always,
Susan
Hope you watched the movie and enjoyed it, would love to know your thoughts on it!
Yes, that's a lovely song. I liked it too.
That's an interesting parallel you've drawn there from mythology - hadn't crossed my mind before.
Hi Susan, I agree with you. I too look forward to every single movie directed by ShyamaPrasad. There's a rare depth to his films in totality that cannot easily be matched. Be it characterization, storyline, presentation, music, everything has a rare quality to it that makes his movies outstanding whether it does well at the box office or not. Shyamaprasad's films leave no scope for mediocrity and I love that about his films too!

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