Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plus Two



Director: Shebi Chavakkad
Cast: Roshan, Shafna
Year: 2010
Language: Malayalam

Glowing online reviews prompted me to watch this movie. After watching it, I had to wonder if the reviewers had seen the same movie that I just saw. Since I don't live in Kerala, and no one in my circle of family or friends watch malayalam movies regularly, I am totally dependent on online reviews to pick which movies to watch. More often than not, those reviews have failed me. They failed me with this movie, too.

I am a sucker for romance, and in my opinion, malayalam cinema has not had enough love stories. My favorite love story of all time is Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal. Plus Two is also a love story, but unlike the Padmarajan classic, this one is made for high schoolers.
I have no problem with people making movies for young kids. In fact I would encourage it, but I wish there was a ratings system or something to warn the rest of us.

The story of Plus Two, as the name implies, revolves around plus two students. It is a teenage male fantasy love story. The protagonist is Prince, a young boy whose parents are conveniently off in America leaving him alone in a big house. A beautiful damsel in distress shows up at his house one day, and Prince is instantly smitten -- enough to offer to let her stay with him after her mother dies, leaving her all alone. Once they set up this ideal situation that would be the dream of every adolescent boy, the writers proceed to develop that love. How? If you've seen the standard Tamil and Telugu "young love" movies, you should know the routine. He gets a cut, she wraps it for him -- close proximity eye contact for a few seconds. She drops something, they both go to pick it up, bump heads -- again close proximity eye contact. Tadaaa!! Prince is deeply in love with Meenakshi and can't live without her.

The story is not realistic at all, but if you can bring yourself to suspend your disbelief for an hour or so, you just might enjoy the movie. Because it does have a redeeming quality -- it is very sweet and innocent. Prince is all alone with a girl he's totally in love with, but not once do we see him looking at her in a sexual way. There are no close-up shots of her breasts or lips. Or breathy sounds. His friends don't talk in double entendres. Again, that's not realistic, but it does make you like the characters and root for them.

There are a couple of songs and a stunt scene which are just fillers and add no value to the movie. The songs are the usual youth style songs -- with a lot of beat and rap and dance, but nothing blending together in any meaningful way. The stunt scene is truly laughable -- the boys beat up a bunch of thugs twice their size. Was that really necessary?

My verdict -- not worth watching unless you're a teenager.

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