Varshangalkku Shesham is an ode to friendship, but one that has its ups and downs. Having said this, the film’s plot is so elegantly woven into its emotional script, that the flaws go unrecognized while the viewers engage with this journey that goes in pursuit of cinematic dreams. The result is that the real essence of cinema is derived from this wonderful journey with the two friends, Venu and Murali. It also shows the viewers the varying differences between cinema making in the bygone era to what is prevalent now.

The film reminds us of the fabulous combination of Sreenivasan and Mohanlal in the film Udayananu Tharam which came in 2005. Now, Writer Sreenivasan’s son Vineeth Sreenivasan associates with Mohanlal’s son Pranav Mohanlal and his own brother, Dhyan Sreenivasan for Varshangalkku Shesham. The directorial brilliance of Vineeth Sreenivasan is visible all through the film.

The film starts with the present, where an old Venu goes in search of his friend Murali, who has vanished into thin air. This takes us to the past, where both of them met and became the thickest of friends in no time. Venu is an aspiring storyteller, who yearns to make it big in films. Murali, on the other hand, is a gifted musician with a soulful voice who can churn out the best of compositions. While Venu aspires to touch the pinnacle of success, Murali does not foresee himself in movies and wants to be a Ghazal singer, making a name for himself. Though their paths and ideologies towards success are different, they embark on their journey to Chennai, in order to cash into their dreams in Kodambakkam, the hub of movies in Chennai.

The friendship of Venu and Murali has not been etched with great detailing. Perhaps, a more nuanced depth to their friendship would have done wonders to this film. The reason why a discord crept in between them, is also not vividly depicted. Murali finds the ladder to Venu’s success by introducing him to a film-maker. However, when Venu wants Murali to compose songs for his film, Murali outrightly refuses as he does not consider himself fit for movies. But to satisfy his friend, Murali ends up giving his song composition to a friend, who went on to give his only super hit song in the same Venu’s film. Soon, with the song and the music composer reaching great heights, Murali feels the pain within him, which leads him to a journey of self-destruction, with him becoming an alcoholic. Soon, the friendship turns into a rift between them, and the thick friends part ways.

The second half of the story brings them to the present era, where they together strive hard to paint their canvas of film-making. This part of the film is more engaging, with them streamlining themselves to suit the generation of today. However, the message that gets sent across is that the art of cinema has no baggage of the age. Soon, Venu and Murali make their own team to come up with their film.

The love story of Murali and Annie was unwanted and did not provide the clarity or mileage to the bigger plot. The same can be said of Radhika and Venu’s love story. We loved watching this film only for the two lads, and their aspirational journey to the peak.

KS Chitra’s Jeevithakadagale captures the aspirations of youngsters very well who are inclined towards having a career in films. But the melody that is sure to stay in your mind and heart from this Amrit Ramnath’s musical collection in the film is the number Nyabagam. This song, which has been composed by Ramnath’s mother Bombay Jayashri remains the evergreen musical melody that we carry home from the film.

Coming to the performances, Dhyan Sreenivasan as Venu is the best. He shows varied kinds of emotions as a youngster, aspiring to become a storyteller, and later, as an old veteran, trying to get back to the roots of film-making. Pranav Mohanlal has also done a good job. But, even the best of his emotions, dance and mischievous expressions that he has, will always get compared to that of his thespian father, Mohanlal. The mannerisms might be inborne in Pranav, but a majority of the fans will end up comparing him to his great father.

The show stealer, of course, without any doubt, has to be the cameo of Nivin Pauly, as actor Nithin Molly. Essaying an arrogant actor who is self-made, but facing a string of flops, and banking on the present film, that can turn things around for him, Nivin renders a sensational act in the film. His over-the-top, arrogant demeanour, and how Venu and Murali’s film relies on his loud antics, have been brought about really well. Nivin Pauly is the best takeaway from this film. Apart from them, Basil Joseph and Aju Varghese are worth mentioning.

Varshangalkku Shesham, might not be the perfect example of flawless cinema. The twists in the tale are more or less predictable, with many of the actions not connecting with the audience. But the narrative is so richly crafted with emotions, that you never can move away from the film even for a second. The beauty with which the story plots of the past are merged with the present, the enjoyable comedy, the performances and the impactful storytelling are enough to make this film a must-watch!!

We credit Vineeth Sreenivasan’s Varshangalkku Shesham with 3 stars out of 5.