Director: Omar Lulu
Cast: Priya Prakash Varrier, Roshan Abdul Rahoof, Noorin Shereef
Composer: Shaan Rahman
Omar Lulu makes movies that are naturally critic-proof. His Chunkzz (2017), was an abominable work that celebrated perversion, insensitivity and bad filmmaking; the absolute clutter that had critics scrambling for any meaningful interpretation. His latest film, Oru Adaar Love, is a Tik-Tok video-equivalent of a movie where a bunch of young actors and a high-school setting are used to add some some colour and noise to an aimless wafer-thin plot that bears the filmmaker’s signature all over it – plenty of Internet humor, sleaze and sexism that find appreciation in a certain section of the audience Omar has managed to create over the years. The narrative is made up of feebly-connected scenes, and some of them seem like stand-alone skits. The only element that maintains consistency throughout the film is Shaan Rahman’s loud background score that doesn’t mean anything.
If Chunkzz was set in an engineering college, Oru Adaar Love unfolds in a high-school in a Kerala small-town. The writing reeks of the stink that emanates from a social media comment box where Internet trolls party. The 16-year-olds who occupy center-stage have a whale of a time for the most part of the film. They fall in love, crack sexist and racist jokes, and pass lewd remarks at lady teachers. One of the girls gets slapped by her male classmate and lover for disagreeing with him. Another one, who approves everything that her male classmates say and do, get the honorary title of the ‘model girl’ whom the boys like to call their best friend. One of the male students is a butt of all racist and body-shaming jokes. Nevertheless, he too becomes an instrument of sexism in the film as his boy friends, the chief source of all the insults he has to undergo in the film, chide the girl-classmates for refusing to date him. The father of a student, a fish merchant, launches into a tirade against the school principal for his ‘elitism’ and makes a reference to the selfless service that the fishermen community had done during the great Kerala floods last year. And in the very next scene, the father and the son ogle a lady teacher, and the film passes it for humor. Omar also employs a variety of crowd-pleasing techniques – at the school annual day celebrations, the students perform songs of late actor-singer Kalabhavan Mani.
The biggest selling point of the film that released on Valentine’s Day in three south Indian languages, is the star couple, Roshan Abdul Rahoof and Priya Varrier, who made waves on social media, thanks to a song video of the film that released a year ago. They are introduced into the narrative as soon as the opening titles roll down. He is waiting at the school gate looking for girls to hook up with, and there she walks in coyly and sort of uncomfortably, as though someone had to push her into the frame. Varrier does the job of being an eye-candy in a space where teenage boys call the shots.
The film ends in one of the most toxic climactic sequences in Malayalam cinema in recent times. A gory harassment scene is staged like a pain porn, and worse, it lands in the film out of the blue unconnected to the rest of the narrative, like an easy crowd-pleasing end to the obnoxiousness. The film neither delivers a social commentary as it pretends to do at this point nor succeeds in pulling off a memorable romantic drama as its title promises. Oru Adaar Love, at best, is a sanity test to see how far Omar has to go to give the audience some real psychological trauma.
The Oru Adaar Love review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.