Honestly speaking, I think I am a very shallow person because the only reason I wanted to watch Achayans was because of the dishy Adil Ibrahim, former anchor of the equally shallow D4 Dance show on Manorama. The show is pretty crappy but Adil usually managed to make it more interesting – which is what I thought he would do in Achayans.
Achayans is Jayaram’s third outing with Kannan Thamarakullam after his annoyingly shrill Thingal Muthal Velli Vare and Aadupuliyatam. He must have been really hoping for a hit because Jayaram has had a disastrous spell of late with poor movie choices and equally bad acting (Remember Ulsaha Committee? Maanthrikan? Sir CP? You get the idea). Sathya also bombed at the box office and received some cutting reviews from critics who labelled it as pretentious and underwhelming (and those are only the more polite comments). This movie had to do well which is why the promotional activity was amped up a bit, including some special focus on Jayaram’s ‘special look’ for the movie. You can watch the trailer for Achayans here.
Achayans delves into the lives of four ridiculously rich man-children namely Roy (Jayaram), Eby (Adil Ibrahim), Rafi (Sanju Shivaraman) and Tony (Unni Mukundan). Tony, an out and out alcoholic and jobless man-child, is the only child of a doting older couple. Eby is the cliché ‘young turk’ whose political activities are restricted to making lots of noise and cowering behind his seniors when the action gets going (in this case, it’s P.C George who makes an actual appearance in the film). Rafi is their sidekick and best friend while Roy, the oldest of the lot and in the grips of a possible mid-life crisis, attempts to find new ways to have fun and enjoy life while maintaining an appearance of decency in front of other family members.
The first half of the film is filled with something I have unfortunately come to expect from Jayaram films of late: crass humour, bad acting and a seriously bad plot. Unni Mukundan is terrible in this movie; his beard has more screen presence than he does! There are occasional glimpses of humour but most of the film makes us roll our eyes and yawn. There is even a weak attempt at a love interest- the usual trophy female who is irrevocably in love with Tony despite him missing his own wedding due to the fact that he was lying dead drunk somewhere. In a scene reminiscent of Thoppil Joppen the four miscreants are sent off to a counselling centre which is run by a strict priest (amusing cameo by Ramesh Pisharady). They get kicked out because Roy manages to smuggle liquor in using watermelons injected with alcohol (like Malayalis need more ideas on how to drink). In fact the biggest pitfall of this movie, like many Malayali movies of late, is it’s overblown portrayal of drinking and alcoholism. Honestly it gets boring to watch irresponsible men drink and drink and drink and then get up and do a song and dance routine like hangovers don’t exist.
Enter Amala Paul as the stand-offish and touchy Reetha, along with her friend Prayaga who are on an impromptu road trip. A bar fight leads to them hitching a ride with the four heroes to a hotel for a New Years party. The four braniacs decide that they should celebrate the remaining days before Tony’s retry at marriage. The following morning, Reetha is found dead and the police are called in to find the suspect. Prakash Raj is the head of the investigating team.
I would love to say that the movie got interesting after this but sadly it only gave me an even bigger headache. I love Prakash Raj and he did fairly okay in this film but countless slo-mo sequences and his cop BGM (which somebody in the film crew liked because it popped up every five seconds) detracted from what little flow the movie had. The suspense was cooked up and thrills nonexistent – in fact what humour there was came from scenes that were actually meant to be taken seriously.
“I don’t know why she loves me Ichaaya,” Unni Mukundan sobs after a phone call to his bride (whom he conveniently left behind to go on a joyride – now he won’t make it back for his second attempt at marriage. Such a responsible fellow).
Needless to say the climax is a gift to the watchers because it means that we can finally see the end of the long, dark road we are on. However there was one point that niggled at me – I felt that Amala Paul had the most interesting character out of all the others and her character was not explored enough. How does she develop borderline- personality disorder? What is her past? Who blew up her Harley? Where is that exquisite leather jacket from?
In the end though you’ll be exactly like me and the rest of the unfortunates who went to the theatre to watch this trashy piece of filmmaking – glad to get out of there. Achayans is a hodge-podge of cheesy lines, awful editing, worse music and acting that leaves you with a great need to facepalm (or in my case, to rant).
Do yourself a favour. Don’t watch it.