Maniyarayile Ashokan review: A half baked slice of life movie.
Maniyarayile Ashokan movie review: Shamzu Zayba did not clearly think through the idea. The half-baked plot results in a wannabe slice-of-life movie.
Maniyarayile Ashokan movie cast: Gregory, Anupama Parameswaran, Krishna Sankar, Shine Tom Chacko
Maniyarayile Ashokan movie director: Shamzu Zayba
Maniyarayile Ashokan movie rating: One star
Maniyarayile Ashokan is the tale of a lonely man who projects his desires for love and intimate companionship on a plantain plant. Yes, that is right, a plantain plant. “Is there any other tree in nature with such fine feminine beauty as a plantain plant,” goes the voiceover that justifies the protagonist (played by Gregory) obsession of Ashokan to seek an intimate relationship with a plant. No, it is not a stoner movie, and our hero is not smoking any grass.
While we have movies like Her envisioning a future of Spike Jonze where an operating software is deemed suitable to meet the intimate needs of human beings, debutant director Shamzu Zayba believes that a non-responsive plant will just be enough.
Maniyarayile Ashokan opens with dream of Ashokan. He is dreaming about a girl he saw at a function recently. It is not something crazy or implausible. It could well be a common recurring dream for every man, with deep-seated conviction in self-centric ideals. In the dream, Ashokan is woken up his wife, who serves him his morning tea in bed. He opens his eyes to his beautiful, smiling wife. And turning this dream into a reality will be his biggest achievement of life. But, it is not easy because he is not exactly sharp-looking like Dulquer Salmaan in a navy uniform. (Dulquer makes a cameo appearance as cousin of Ashokan.
A girl rejects Ashokan because he does not have fair skin, height or a high-paying job. And he is desperate to get married because of peer pressure. Reasonably, one may expect the film would examine the obsession of society with fair skin and indict a marriage-centric society for putting undue stress on a mental health of person. Director-writer Shamzu Zayba does neither.
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