sumesh and ramesh balu varghese

Director: Snoop Thykoodam
Cast: Sreenath Bhasi, Balu Varghese, Salim Kumar, Praveena
Language: Malayalam

The writers of Sumesh And Ramesh seem to love the idea of creating a big setup. The first forty minutes of their film flow by smoothly, with a series of light moments, but there’s almost nothing new to takeaway from this stretch. We learn that Sumesh and Ramesh are constantly fighting for the silliest of reasons and their dad, played by Salim Kumar, is a lot like them too. We also learn that their mother Usha (Praveena in the film’s best performance) takes care of them financially and otherwise only to reach a point where we think the film will eventually be about her. But it is not and you’re generally left with the feeling that this film isn’t really about anyone or anything in specific. 

Instead, it feels like the first thirty minutes of three different films have been stitched together to form a bigger film. None of the individual strands get the closure we expect from them and the timeline never justifies this approach. For instance, we get long stretches that show us Usha’s daily routine which begins at 4:30 AM (like the opening credits of Veruthe Oru Bharya). She waits for water, gets the house in order, buys a lottery ticket, takes a bus and heads to work and we empathise with her when we learn how useless her kids are. But this setup doesn’t really amount to anything except to show us how helpless she is and how she continues to be so. It’s like the film begins to neglect her just like her children do. 

This is the same with the time the film takes to show Sumesh and Ramesh fighting. Neither silly enough to be funny nor serious enough to change the script’s trajectory, we simply get laboured scenes that lead up to a predictable conflict that would have worked fine without these many fights. The film itself isn’t really reaching for the stars but it appears too comfortable staying still as long as the isolated comedy scenes work well. 

The biggest damage to the film is a result of how generic the romantic portions are. It’s a film that needed these portions to work for the overall film to have any sort of an impact, but they appear so plain that they could have been interchangeable with another couple, another place, another song and another situation and we would hardly have noticed. Which is perhaps why even the film’s clever twists appear vague and incoherent. It’s like the twist arrived at first and every scene before was simply retrofitted to get us to that point. Instead of writing a screenplay that could multitask multiple characters and their arcs, the screenplay chooses to move from one to another, by which point it feels like the stakes are never getting bigger. With a set of good actors, the film’s surely watchable, even through its most shallow patches. But it’s also a one-trick pony that has nothing else going for it.

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