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Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna Review: A rustic comedy that relies too much on archaic jokes

The film offers promise in the second half with some exciting turn out of events but ends with nothing new to offer not more than being an old chestnut

Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna Review: A rustic comedy that relies too much on archaic jokes
Poster of Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


STORY: Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna is set in a village in the northern part of Kerala, where the local wings of two political parties compete to carry out a local festival. According to rituals, a wild boar is to be sacrificed to the local deity marking the culmination of the festival.

Kannan (Dhyan Sreenivasan) is a left-wing party member with the power to run the festival and sacrifice the boar. Kannan, aged 35, is unmarried and decides to get hitched with the help of his party members and friends. Meanwhile, Vidhyadharan (Aju Varghese), a textile shop owner and Kannan’s rival party member, is also seeking a bride. The respective weddings of Kannan and Vidhyadharan become a matter of ego and competition between the two political wings after Kannan’s engagement with a woman from his village is called off. Kannan believes that Vidhyadharan is the reason behind it. Now, he is forced to marry a woman, named Yamuna, from Karnataka, obeying the party’s decision. The rest of the story revolves around how Yamuna changes Kannan and Vidhyadharan’s life, thereafter.

Poster of Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna
Poster of Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna

REVIEW: Malayalam audiences still hold a special place in their hearts for rustic comedy movies - such as Peruvannapurathe Visheshangal, Akkara Ninnoru Maran, and Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu. However, Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna fails to leave a lasting impression like those old comedies, mostly due to its lack of memorable characters and scenes. The film aims to provide clean comedy entertainment rather than political criticism or satire, but falls short of its primary objective to evoke laughter. The movie’s first half offers nothing new, with scenes that feel like a repetition of what has already been seen previously. In comedy movies set in a village, supporting characters surrounding the protagonist are crucial. However, Kannan’s friends fail to hit the mark when it comes to humour, with jokes such as making fun of a character’s dialect.


In the second half, attempts to evoke laughter begin to work, but they don’t last long. The script doesn’t offer much and the characters seem distant from the viewers as they don’t have an interesting arc. It is a bit odd that Vidhyadharan’s gang, comprising locals, disappears for most part of the second half, only to reappear in the climax. It is strange that despite being the natives of the village, these party members are only seen in groups.

Dhyan’s portrayal of Kannan seems to be the serious version of Lalu in Kunjiramayanam. The actor has managed to evoke laughter through his quirks. Meanwhile, Nirmal Palazhi, who plays a left party bigwig, fails to captivate the viewers due to his monotonous performance. Navas Vallikkunnu and Unni Raja perform decently, following their usual style, which isn’t boring, at least.

Aju Varghese, who plays Vidhyadharan, stands tall in terms of performance. His portrayal of a desperate bachelor yearning for marriage is fresh, compared with his previous characters. However, unlike Aju and Dhyan’s previous ventures, Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna doesn’t feature their hilarious combination. In the film, they are mostly at loggerheads.

Dhyan Sreenivasan and Aju Varghese in Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna
Dhyan Sreenivasan and Aju Varghese in Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna

Pragya Nagra’s Malayalam debut performance as Yamuna is convincing. Bhanumathi Payyannur, who plays Kannan’s mother, is also good, primarily because of her unique Kannur slang, which was also lauded in Android Kunjappan Version 5.25. Sudheesh, who plays Kannan’s uncle, fails as a character despite an initial promise.

Speaking of the technical department, the background score by Shankar Sharma comes in handy in many scenes. However Arun Muraleedharan's songs like Konnadi Penne, sung by Dhyan, fail to make an impact. Faisal Ali’s cinematography and Rathin Radhakrishnan’s editing are commendable, creating a feel of old-style comedies in Malayalam.

VERDICT: Nadhikalil Sundari Yamuna offers nothing new, apart from an old template story coupled with outdated writing. With some laughs here and there, the performances of Aju Varghese and Dhyan Sreenivasan are the only appealing aspects of this passable comedy-drama.

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