Cast: Priya Prakash Varrier, Roshan, Siddique
For the uninitiated, there are videos uploaded on YouTube trolling Malayalam female actors and anchors, carelessly judging and laughing at everything from their make-up, dancing skills to their so-called "outrageous" quotes and expressions. It's clearly the handiwork of someone who has a myopic view of women. Director Omar Lulu seems to be a monthly subscriber to those videos. For someone whose last outing was the outrageously crass Chunkz, a "campus film", filled with adult jokes, apart from being misogynistic and homophobic, Oru Adaar Love is an extension of that fixation. What could have easily been made into an amateurish music video has been blown into an appalling film with unbelievably bad actors and a non-existent script.
It's placed at Don Bosco school (that was earlier transformed into a college in Chunkz) where boys are on a hormonal overdrive, busy marking the prettiest girls (who are all heavily made-up) in class, matchmaking, body shaming and wooing teachers. The lead characters are all dreary and insipid. There is Roshan who loves Priya, who after playing hard to get, falls for him. Gadha forms the obvious third angle, the bubbly, full of beans, "one of the boys" girl whom everyone loves. Then there are a host of characters who have been giving standing instructions to go over-the-top.
The annoying boy who calls his teacher at night to clear doubts, his father (Salim Kumar) who vulgarly makes jokes about her being a "biology" teacher, a math professor who slyly eyes Priya when she complains of tummy ache—Omar dedicatedly and systematically carries forward his previous record of being crass, offensive and chauvinist. In a scene, when Roshan after getting caught for sending porn videos on the class Whatsapp group, is instructed to call his father. And when told that he works in the Middle East, the principal scoffs— "Ah, no wonder! All children with single mothers end up like you." It's also lazy and irresponsible writing when most dialogues are a shout-out to popular Malayalam film dialogues or actors.
Why are teachers in his films loud, stupid, rude or vulgar? There is a PT sir (Hareesh Kanaran) who obsesses over Bahubali, a cheesy narcissistic Math sir, an older professor who is also a terrible singer and a lady teacher who just sends empty threats to the student who calls her at night.
The biggest joke is the title, as young romance is the last thing celebrated in the film. Neither is it naïve, cute or intense and after a point, we are past caring who ends up with whom.
The one who created the monster hype around the film—Priya Varrier, is unmemorable, apart from that wink, of course, while Roshan shows promise – if he turns judicious with his choice of directors. Siddique is wasted even in his cameo.
Oru Adaar Love begins and ends with a wink. Literally and figuratively.