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Expectations belied: Review of Malayalam movie, 'Ivide'
Connoisseurs of Malayalam cinema always look forward to a Shyamaprasad movie. The depth of characterisation, the psychological conflicts of ordinary men and women caught in piquant situations, and the richness of his female protagonists' inner lives - all these put a stamp of individuality on his oeuvre.

So it was with great expectations that one went to see 'Ivide' his latest starring Prithviraj and Nivin Pauly in key roles. But the movie turned out to be a big disappointment. It gave one the impression that the director was trying to straddle two genres - the crime thriller and a psychological study of a man suffering from a severe identity conflict.

Basically the story is about an Indian-American cop in Atlanta trying to find a serial killer who targets Indians in the US. There is an outsourcing angle as well which highlights the racial tensions in the US where the natives are increasingly losing jobs to people from so-called Third World countries.

Prithviraj essays the role of Varun Blake an orphan from India who has been adopted at the age of 7 by an American couple. He is divorced from his wife, Roshni Mathew (played by Bhavana) who could not cope with his violent nature. But the movie does not delve too deeply into what makes Varun violent. To all appearances he seems to have had a normal childhood and a loving mother. Nivin Pauly plays the role of Krish Hebbar an ambitious IT professional who is ruthless when it comes to achieving his ends.

In the first few minutes of the movie itself it is very clear that the director has faltered. It is much later that the audience knows that Rao is on a blind date with the American woman. Of course some would have guessed it but the opening scene would have left many baffled all the same. The most ludicrous scene however is the one in which Prithviraj and his partner cop confront a man who is abusing his wife in what looks like a cowshed.

Even a little kid knows that an American cop never lets go of his gun when confronted by an angry man with a firearm. Their general policy is to shoot first and ask questions later as many incidents involving black men in the US show. This itself shows what little homework has gone into Shyamaprasad's preparation for this movie.

On the whole, Nivin does a more convincing job than Prithviraj. He is the one who has a credible backstory and undergoes the kind of transformation that earns our sympathy finally. Prithviraj seems more pathetic than heroic and even the climactic scene where he overcomes temptation and lets go, does not help to redeem the character. Too many songs also distract. It is high time that directors realised that the audience doesn't want to listen to songs in a thriller movie. It just makes the movie drag on longer.

Editing leaves much to be desired and in one song sequence, the scenes just don't segue into each other and seem haphazard and random. Even small details like the narration being in Malayalam even though the narrator's wife at one point says that her husband does not know Malayalam show the director's carelessness.

A person who has been transplanted on American soil at the age of 7 and raised by American parents does not think in Malayalam. Surely Shyamaprasad should know that! It is hard to believe that someone who helmed movies like 'Arike' and 'Ore Kadal' is responsible for 'Ivide'.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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