I walked into a near-empty movie hall when I stepped in to watch the Malayalam movie 'Lavender' written by Anoop Menon and directed by Altas T. Ali.
So, why did I bother to go? One reason: Rahman's early films such as Koodevidey, Kanamarayathu, Poomukhapadiyil Nineym Kathu, Chilambu, Thammil Thammil, Kariyilakaatupoley remain my all-time favorites. Those were and are golden hits in Malayalam cinema and Rahman's acting was not just charismatic but effortless and natural!
[Image credit: Google Images]
Lavender Malayalam Movie Review: The Story
Lavender is presented as a visual of a director's proposed movie script while pitching the story to the leading lady. He goes into the details of the movie so that she accepts the role. While narrating the role, the movie itself is visualized and shown to us.
The proposed movie's story line is depicted like this:
Ayaan (starring Rahman) is a Bangkok based gangster who lives in hiding because he is listed in Interpol’s most wanted criminals. There is an Interpol team that is after him, led by Raghavan Moorthy (starring Anoop Menon) and Siddharth (starring Nishan).
At this time, Ayaan falls in love with a portrait artist called Isha (starring Elham Mirza) and he sends her lavender flowers every day to show his love. She doesn't know who it is but feels overwhelmed by the gesture. Later, she mistakes the anonymous 'Lavender sender' for Siddharth and falls in love with him.
What makes the gangster Ayaan lovable is the way he goes out to show the humane side of himself - despite the work that he does and the choices that he makes as a contract killer - he loves this girl truly and madly. You can see it in his eyes, his silence and in his actions.
[Image credit: Google Images]
The brooding lover isn't something I would have associated with the lively, vibrant persona of actor Rahman (remember his popular golden flicks, Love Story, Thammil Thammil, Chilambu, among others).
Elham Mirza, the Iranian beauty, is gorgeous. She is convincing as the character Isha and I wouldn't have guessed that she is Iranian because her lip sync movements were perfect and she didn't seem like a foreigner in any way while portraying Isha.
Lavender Malayalam Movie Review: What Worked and Didn't Work
The gangster part feels forced and clichéd. Rahman doesn't look deadly, nor do any of the others associated with the Black Tulip gang. Also, Rahman doesn’t have much action as a "killer." Anoop Menon is not one bit convincing as an Interpol officer. Nishan is a good, upcoming and talented actor who got a very poorly fleshed out character. He has expressions that are perfect for a romantic hero. He can impress and would if he got the right roles.
The characterization of the protagonists were not well-structured, the dialogues were cheesy and meaningless and there is a lack of depth in the way the story finally fleshes out. Many things in the movie don't work in tandem with the rest of the movie - for example, the humor bits by Kalpana and Aju Varghese stand out like a sore thumb.
The songs were beautifully shot, I have to say this - excellent cinematography that captures the best of Bangkok - you can experience the mood and culture of the place through the songs and the shots.
On the whole, Lavender is not a movie one can 'rave' about as a love story or as a gangster movie. Still, actor Rahman and the gorgeous Elham Mirza make it worth a watch!
[Other popular movie reviews you may want to check out: Premam, Bangalore Days, Vikramadityan, Anju Sundarikal, Oru Indian Pranaya Katha]