Production: Wayfarer Films | Cast: Anupama Parameswaran, Gregory, Krishna Sankar, Shine Tom Chacko, Sunny Wayne, Vijayaraghavan | Direction: Shamzu Zayba | Music: Sreehari K. Nair



Review By : Behindwoods Review Board, Sunil Srivatsav Release Date : Aug 31,2020
Movie Run Time : 1 Hour 50 minutes Censor Rating : 13+

‘Maniyarayile Ashokan’ is the latest Malayalam movie to opt for a direct digital release, during the lockdown. The movie stars Jacob Gregory, Anupama Parameswaran, Sunny Wayne, Vijayaraghavan, Shine Tom Chacko, Krishna Sankar, and others. ‘Maniyarayile Ashokan’ is directed by Shamzu Zayba, produced by Dulquer Salmaan and Gregory under the banner Wayfarer Films is released for Onam 2020, streaming on the OTT Platform Netflix. Is ‘Maniyarayile Ashokan’ the perfect Sadhya, this Thiruvonam? Read more to find out.

Right from the word go, Dulquer introduces us to the world of Ashokan through some aesthetically appealing visuals that’ll make you fall in love with ‘Keralam’. The town 'Vayalathaadi' in ‘Vellaramkunnu’ is so pleasing that you would want the pandemic to end so that you can plan for a short trip. The cinematographer Sajad Kaakku deserves a special mention.

‘Ashokan’ played by Jacob Gregory is a grown-up adult, who dreams of getting married to the ‘perfect girl’. He fantasizes about the romantic mornings and the chilly evenings with his wife every day until his friends or his parents wake him up from the daydream. How he finds the girl of his dreams, forms the crux of the story.

Even in the 21st Century, the horoscope is a Multi-million dollar industry and Ashokan’s parents are responsible for like half of it. Every match they find for him goes down the drain due to some reason or the other. After a point, just like most men, Ashokan is fed-up with all the pressure surrounding his wedding and everything that happens around seems like a dig at his single life.

Ashokan, Shyju, and Ratheesh (played by Gregory, Shine Tom Chacko, and Krishna Sankar) are 3 close friends who have very contrasting character arcs. Their bond is beautifully portrayed and is sure to make the viewer miss his/her friends. The ‘football’ moments between the three are enjoyable and the best part about their characterization is how it feels like a homecoming for everyone at the end.

Right after the first shot, the song ‘Unnimaya’ sung by Dulquer is present. Subsequently, a series of songs follow and one might feel like the musical first half could be a tad bit tedious to watch. However, the songs seem pleasing to the ear and Sid Sriram’s ‘Olu’ is the one to look out for. Sreehari, the music director has placed the songs in an upfront manner. However, tackling the slow screenplay in the first half, the songs seem to be slightly overboard. Although, the BGM scores work well, especially while showcasing the beauty of God’s own country.

The romance portions between ‘Ashokan’ and his ‘wife’ (anything else revealed would become a spoiler) are amusing to watch and Jacob Gregory has won yet again, as a performer. There are also a few emotional scenes that he has pulled off with ease, but considering the plot, one might feel it is slightly overboard.

When love finally blooms in Ashokan’s life, horoscopes play spoilsport. Anupama Parameswaran, who has played a short role as ‘Shyama’ has given a neat performance. The scenes where she is caught blushing are a delight to watch and would take you back to her ‘Mary’ days, from ‘Premam’. It is no wonder that the fans love Anupama to a great extent. If you don’t, well, you’d definitely join the club.

The director has also induced humour with a few ‘hiccups’ here and there and that seems to work well for the plot. With a run-time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, ‘Maniyarayile Ashokan’ seems to be slightly on the slower side. A much faster first half would have indeed made the tale more gripping. Nevertheless, the movie is a feel-good one and is sure to put up a smile on your face, enjoying the little things in life. Also, watch out for a special cameo from Dulquer Salmaan and Nazriya. There’s also a message - ‘Good things happen to those who wait’!

Verdict: Maniyarayile Ashokan is a simple story with a big heart, in spite of the slow narration. Watch out for Dulquer and Nazriya’s surprise cameos!
( 2.75 / 5.0 )

Maniyarayile Ashokan (aka) Maniyaraile Ashokan

Maniyarayile Ashokan (aka) Maniyaraile Ashokan is a Malayalam movie with production by Wayfarer Films, direction by Shamzu Zayba. The cast of Maniyarayile Ashokan (aka) Maniyaraile Ashokan includes Anupama Parameswaran, Gregory, Krishna Sankar, Shine Tom Chacko, Sunny Wayne, Vijayaraghavan..