google play
Google
 
app store
iOS
 
settings icon
 
profile icon

Home»Critics Review»

Critics Review
Vidhi movie review: Anoop Menon’s final monologue can’t save this drama weighed down by too many weak subplots

Kannan’s challenge here was to make it engaging for the audience, and given that close to 300+ residents lost their homes, there would have been enough stories to mine. But what scriptwriter Dinesh Pallath presents is a bunch of generic characters with tales that are hardly engrossing

2.0
Sanjith Sidhardhan
Dec 30, 2021
cover image
Vidhi posters

Story: Residents of high-rise in Kochi consists of people from different strata of society including government officials, a struggling mimicry artiste, an elderly couple, a husband and wife waiting to adopt a child and also those who depend on these people such as its caretaker, security guard, the cleaning personnel and a Tamil family who iron their clothes, for their livelihood. However, on the eve of the flat complex’s 10th anniversary, all of them are shocked to find out about a Supreme Court verdict instructing the flat to be demolished as it is constructed in an ecologically sensitive area. With many yet to pay off the loans and some having no other asset apart from the flats, the residents soon find themselves in a quandary and have just five days to vacate. Parallel to the narrative is that of Bharathan, who seeks justice for the downtrodden. Could he play a part in delivering justice to the residents?

Review: In the beginning of Kannan Thamarakkulam’s Vidhi: The Verdict, the filmmaker introduces Anoop Menon’s character Bharathan as someone who delivers drinking water to those in a flat, which is the main setting of the film. He uses the device effectively, letting the audience meet the other characters in the complex through him and the security guard Maniyan (Dharmajan Bolghatty). But soon this spins out of control, with the filmmaker first establishing the characters and then trying to flesh them out through their background stories. The intention might have been to make their plight relatable at the end of the film, but what it does, especially in a movie with so many characters, is that every subplot is underbaked and the main narrative never really gets its due.

The film, based on the 2020 Maradu flats demolition due to the construction of the buildings in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, tries to tell the story of residents in a flat complex, which the Supreme Court rules to be demolished. Given that the stories of the people and the verdict has been extensively covered in the media when it happened, Kannan’s challenge here was to make it engaging for the audience, and given that close to 300+ residents lost their homes, there would have been enough stories to mine. But what scriptwriter Dinesh Pallath presents is a bunch of generic characters with tales that are hardly engrossing.

The key characters are a couple (Manoj K Jayan and Sarayu) who are set to adopt a child, two youngsters who are love and might have to split up due to the flat demolition, a mimicry artiste, who has taken a huge loan to buy his flat, a security guard named Maniyan, who has a mysterious past, and the elitist and domineering building secretary (Sheelu Abraham). The first half evolves almost as a TV serial with characters and their stories going round in circles. But given the intermission twist, you would expect the movie to focus on the task at hand. Instead what you get is a scene where the couple has trouble adopting their child and then quickly the plot digresses to redeem its elitist building secretary – which was an absolutely unnecessary deviation that does nothing for the movie or the character.

And then you have Anoop Menon’s character of Bharathan, who is sort of an outlaw seeking justice. The makers never really explain what he’s doing at the flat even before the verdict. The entire purpose of his character boils down to his monologue in the dying minutes of the movie, where he asks some relevant questions that still haven’t found answers. But that doesn’t justify making a movie that is almost two hours long and is almost a grind to sit through due to amateur shots and mediocre music.

Performance wise, all actors do what’s expected of them but none really stand out. Dharmajan has got a meaty part, different from the usual sidekick roles he plays and does well. Anoop Menon sleepwalks through his character, and his scenes in the final half lifts the energy of the movie but doesn’t quite save it. Senthil Krishna is probably the only character who manages to evoke some sort of empathy. 

Verdict: Too many subplots hinder the film from ever taking off. While Kannan Thamarakkulam’s Vidhi asks some relevant questions at the very end of the movie, it doesn’t quite justify sitting through close to two hours just to hear that.


Partner sites:
Hindustan Times · Live Hindustan · Live Mint
Desimartini · Shine · Healthshots · Slurrp
Copyright @ 2021 OTTplay, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited