'Aavesham' review: This Fahadh Faasil movie is a fun ride

The film maintains a celebratory mood from beginning till end


Filmmaker Jithu Madhavan operates much like a skilled chemist; he meticulously adheres to the tried-and-tested "formulas" required for his subject to cook up success. His debut film, Romancham, was the perfect blend for theatrical success by combining elements of traditional horror with wit. Now, with Aavesham (Excitement), he ventures into another genre-blender—a mobster comedy—adhering closely to established genre conventions, tropes, and plot devices. 

The cornerstone of any mobster comedy lies in its eccentric central character. On-screen, Fahadh Faasil as Rangan, a Bengaluru-based don, embodies this eccentricity flawlessly. The film boldly opens with a title card declaring its intent to "re-introduce" Fahadh Faasil. This reviewer found that the filmmaker lives up to that claim, reintroducing FaFa (Faasil, as his fans call him) in a role where he skillfully blends narcissism, absurdity, and the quirks of a don with continuous wit and light-heartedness. While FaFa previously portrayed the psychopathic character Shammi in Kumbalangi Nights, Aavesham's Rangan exudes a different kind of frenetic energy, showcasing a new facet of his acting prowess.

The central plot of Aavesham revolves around a classic 'fish-out-of-water scenario,' wherein three college students find themselves entangled in unexpected circumstances. Debutants Hipzter, Mithun Jai Sankar, and Roshan Shanavas portray these students who inadvertently become entwined with the mobster Rangan. Ego with college seniors leads them to Rangan, but from there, they become ensnared in a series of absurd situations that even jeopardize their lives. Madhavan skilfully ensures that his seemingly hollow plot is elevated by entertaining absurd humour and outlandish scenarios that defy logic and reason. Throughout, the film maintains a light-hearted tone while exploring themes of power struggles and the complexities of everyday existence.

Friendship between a mob boss and his henchmen, or a ragtag group of misfits thrown together by circumstance, are common tropes in successful mobster comedies. In Aavesham, audiences will encounter both of these scenarios. Sajin Gopu delivers a stellar performance as Rangan’s henchman, Amban, whose costume evokes memories of Vikraman from Balarama’s Maayavi comics.

The film's first half is tightly edited, but there is a noticeable dip in pace during the initial portions of the second half. Additionally, there are moments where this reviewer felt somewhat detached from the tensions experienced by the trio. But towards the climax, the film once again gets charged up and takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride into the world of madness exhibited by Rangan. FaFa, as a performer, brings out his complete form only in those climax portions.

The script contains multiple clichéd moments. However, Madhavan cleverly covers these cliches with witty one-liners and banter, and FaFa’s “Eda Mone” catchphrase is likely to earn an iconic place in Malayalam pop culture. Even when the film takes several freakish turns, the filmmaker abstains from any kind of forced or slapstick comedy elements. Instead, it is in the dialogues crackling with energy and wit that Madhavan puts his trust to engage the audience. On multiple occasions, the film builds up an emotional scene and then eases the audience with light comedy.

Mashar Hamsa’s costume designs and Chethan Dsouza’s action choreography deserve praise, showcasing excellence on the technical side. Sushin Shyam delivers energy-pumping soundtracks, while Samir Thahir vividly captures the transition from thug life to the Insta reel life of Rangan.

The film maintains a celebratory mood from beginning to end, catering primarily to a youthful audience. Female characters and elements of romance or love are almost non-existent, with the plot heavily invested in male ego and adrenaline rushes. Aavesham is adorned with references from a variety of films, ranging from the iconic Hollywood film The Shining to Madhavan’s debut film, Romancham.

Final Thoughts: If you're in search of a drama adhering to the confines of realism, Aavesham may not be the right pick for you. However, if your intention is to just chill and celebrate in this festival season, the movie won’t disappoint. 

Movie: Aavesham

Director: Jithu Madhavan

Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Mithun Jai Sankar, Roshan Shanavas

Rating: 3.5/5

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp

*Articles appearing as INFOCUS/THE WEEK FOCUS are marketing initiatives