Varathan (2018) Poster

(2018)

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6/10
A brilliant initial 90-100 mins followed by a masala-sprinkled climax! [+64%]
arungeorge139 October 2018
Yes, the core theme of 'Varathan' is heavily inspired by the 1971 home-invasion thriller 'Straw Dogs'. But what makes it worth a viewing is the way master-director Amal Neerad has incorporated all necessary elements to essentially 'Malayali-fy' it. The film opens in Dubai and moves quickly to an estate in Vagamon, Kerala. Having actors like Fahadh Fazil and Aishwarya Lekshmi portraying key characters (Abin and Priya) only elevates an already-intriguing plotline (especially for those who haven't seen 'Straw Dogs').

The new environs aren't the friendliest, to say the least, and it is Priya who notices this first. She is terrified at the fact that her former classmates are lusting after her even when she's a married woman. The tactics employed by Pappaali Josy (Sharafudheen) and his cronies to taunt Priya are ones that give women sleepless nights. Aishwarya Lekshmi plays the helpless (but wanting-to-give-it-back-to-em locals) woman to the T. Fahadh lends much-needed composure to the character of Abin, until he has no choice but to lay the baddies to waste.

The film is a slow-burn thriller with a payoff that boasts ample doses of masala. The quintessential 'break-point' arrives around the 90/100 min mark, and when it does, one or two retaliation strategies used by Abin, manage to leave the viewer reasonably pumped up. The music and background score (by Sushin Shyam) do add to the eerie feel of the film. Amal Neerad's directorial skills are also ably complemented by the subtle frames chosen by cinematographer Littil Swayamp. If only had Amal done away with some of his regular cinematic tropes (such as the excessive use of slow-motion, his choice to include a badly choreographed muddy rain fight as opposed to slower yet more effective, hard-hitting methods to inflict pain on the antagonists, and not giving the female protagonist enough masala moments as the male), 'Varathan' would have turned out to be a more thrilling cinematic experience.

In its current form, 'Varathan' is memorable while it lasts but the finale feels a little rushed and as I mentioned above, the punishment meted out to the baddies felt insufficient. Enjoy it for its realistic performances, brilliant camerawork, and splendid storytelling.
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8/10
Why 8
divyakurian30 December 2018
The movie started slow but the wait was fruitful. When the movie started, I thought its a horror movie but then the last 30 minutes just overshadowed the flaws. Enjoyed the change in character of Fahad Fazil. This movie showed that one shouldn't be quiet and women instincts should be considered to avoid any situation like this.
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5/10
Watch it for last 15min (Minus the logic)
skg00924 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start explaining why the movie is loved. It's because of the last 15min action sequence that resembles lot like Home Alone mixed with John Wick. Thanks to good choreography and brilliant acting by Fahad, the logical reasoning is ignored for fun and entertainment.

Amal Neerad is famous for making movies in slow motion even if that's not required. Varathan (Stranger) is an extreme version of that style. Someone is drinking coffee, it's shot in slow motion. Walking - slow motion, talking - slow motion, introduction of characters - slow motion. Slow motion in footsteps, running, climbing, talking, okay, may be I'm exaggerating but you get the point.

This movie should have been finished in 45 min because there is nothing to show for apart from the action sequence I mentioned. The character development is shallow. The relationship between the husband and wife is unclear. I mean they are husband and wife, but their equation cause lot of confusion. They at times are portrayed as very close and at times, distant. Most importantly the reason why they decided to settle in a remote village is not convincing.

Other characters, introduced in slow motion, have no background story. Group of youngsters, sexually depraved men,. are shown either drinking or being sexually attracted to the lead actress. As for why, god knows. May be youngsters are sexually depraved. Does this mean that there are no youngsters like the characters? Absolutely not. There are. The movie doesn't give the reason to why they are the way they are.

Mother in law character is wasted and so are few others. They are either in few shots or are deemed irrelevant.

If you throw the logic out of the window, then the action sequence will be enjoyed. If not, then few questions remains to be answered. How come an IT professional is an expert in fire arms? How does he know marital arts or some form of self defense technique? There are few more but spoilers will spoil your fun.

Have you watched home alone? Some of the techniques will remind you of those scenes, especially connecting electric current to the door handle. It's only that Hollywood has done a brilliant job of it, showing us detailed step. Amal just cut to the chase.

Overall, a decent movie with a good action sequence towards the end.
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7/10
This is what Amal Neerad does to you
CobertNeede20 September 2018
When this film is reviewed, there are certain mandatory guidelines that should be followed before breaking down the pros and cons of the movie. The first one is that it is a freaking Amal Neerad movie. Forget your fast paced thriller scenes. Forget clichéd wide shots. Forget plot advancements. Forget TIME. Amal demands your patience. His films has an extensive use of slo mo shots. So much that it can actually extend the film by 20-30 minutes. These might be things that you would criticize about his movies. It could also be pros of the movie. But either way Amal creates every single one of his movies this way and Varathan is no different. It steers clear of some of Amal's stereotypical themes. It's actually a step high of CIA and a step down from Iyobinte Pusthakam.

Varathan on the outside, is a clear cut thriller film. It could be categorized as a drama/action/thriller film. The genres that has undergone mixing are great ones and that is in itself a great pro. Amal Neerad has commanded attention from the very first shot. Something many directors find it hard. Varathan succeeds on so many levels. It's perhaps a unique find in malayalam mainstream cinema. It's a breath of fresh air. The plot is lazy. That's usually the case for an Amal Neerad film. Style over substance. Varathan is that with the exception of the first hour and a half. The first half is so damn thrilling that you would wonder whether it's a Amal movie or not. The second half's 30 minutes into the finish prove to us that it is indeed an Amal Neerad film. The performances were pretty good. All of them. Some tonal inconsistencies in the first half. Incorporating songs just for the sake of it and some glaring holes about the philosophy of violence in this film. But well, it's an Amal Neerad Movie.

Fahadh, Aiswarya and probably every one of the supporting cast gave a splendid, convincing performance. The only thing that i had a clear cut problem was the action scenes. I completely understand Amal's style. But the fight scenes could have been a little bit better. A LOT better, actually.

Varathan is an adaptation of the 1971 film Straw Dogs. In terms of similarity in making, both of them are vastly different. But the ideas, the themes that arise are pretty much the same. A great adaptation in short.

Varathan is a treat for all of those who adore film in it's raw form. Amal Neerad makes sure that you're hooked and if you ain't he's got a big title card at the end that says 'AN AMAL NEERAD FILM'. I'm sure everybody will be hooked to that.
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10/10
Varathan - Behold the real actor in Fahad Faasil
apn12622 September 2018
Just one word - Brilliant. Varathan is a well directed absolute drama_thriller from Amal Neerad. Everything about the movie is good, right from casting, cinematography, music to the surprise element in store. Buy a ticket for this movie without a doubt in mind. You will enjoy it. My rating - 10/10

P.S- Just can't get enough of Fahad Faasil in Amal Neerad movies.
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7/10
Girirajan Kozhi reloaded
vjnambu25 January 2019
If Girirajan Kozhi was a rich, influential and would do anything cheap to get the girl in bed he eyes for, then that is Varathan for you.
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8/10
Mallu John wick
ronyxavier9530 September 2018
A great thriller for the weekend. And outstanding acting by fahad. Great keep going mollywood
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2/10
STRAW DOGS
jacobj-4691827 April 2019
No coincidence! It is just a improvised rip-off from STRAW DOGS which starred the brilliant actor Dustin Hoffman.
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8/10
This is thrilling !!
karna200700727 September 2018
A movie everyone waited for a long time. ABI, the character portrayed by Fahad is something everyone wish to be. Atleast Once in life YOU would've experienced what the movie showcases. He did what everyone wants to DO when PRIVACY of his life gets threatened. Priya, played by Aishwarya is amazing at the moments when it needed in building the emotions. . . Amal Neerad has proven that he is a DIRECTOR whom can make movies relevant to the current perceptions (never ending) of our society. (GOOD JOB) . Script of the movie is a QUESTIONING to our HYPOCRYTIC society who surveils on everything we DO. . Littil swayamp being behind the lens has once again proven that he is amazing. When it comes to those thrilling last sequences, without brilliant cinematographer movie would've gone to zero. (Great work) . . Worth watching if you love Thrillers.
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8/10
Insightful story line...
alexraju913 December 2018
This makes you see how hypocritically minded our society is. You might think like this is just a movie, but the truth is not far away. The reality is, regardless of the literacy and our hyped moral status, the majority of the people in our society are actually narrow minded ...and cannot accept any world other than theirs... This is in a way another angle of what happened to Madhu, the adhivasi who got killed coz he was suspected of thievery.

Although this movie was not much fun/enjoyable, I hope it helps people to understand the reality.
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8/10
The climax scene steals the show
binducherungath23 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Varathan, a film by Amal Neerad, is a thriller which portrays different shades of voyeurism, misogyny and the lecherous looks of a few men leaving the female protagonist unable to feel safe within her own home. One can easily relate with the film since the story does talk about the paranoia which engulfs females in the society when their instincts tell them about the unsafe environment around them. The film also does justice to the helplessness, fear, pain and outrage experienced by women when they face the evil elements of the society. Its pace is slow but probably the story demanded this pace. The climax scene is gripping.

Abin (Fahadh Faasil) and Priya (Aishwarya Lekshmi) decide to relocate to India from Dubai. They decide to stay in the ancestral property of Priya where the antique things including gun used by Priya's grandfather are kept safe. Amal Neerad does give clues from the very beginning regarding how intends to unravel the plot. Both Abin and Priya's nature is established with a scene where a cockroach is seen. Abin just lets it go but Priya kills it immediately telling that she won't allow the cockroach to enter her home. Priya instinctively picks up cues when she gets the uncomfortable looks from the people in the village and when she expresses this to Abin, he just asks her to ignore. Abin is shown to be having a very cool temperament. How their lives take an about turn when Priya experiences mental torture due to the voyeuristic deeds of Josey (Sharafudheen) and his gang.

The film is engaging; especially the climax scene is fast, gripping and well shot. Even an important message is conveyed in the last scene that it is high time females stand up for themselves instead of expecting strength and support from their better halves since they are powerful and empowered from within. The film also highlights the importance of creating a society where everybody has the basic right to live in a fear-free environment and feel secure. Abin's cool demeanour does make one uncomfortable in the beginning but the climax compensates where he transforms into a protector's role.

Varathan's cinematography is done by Little Swayamp which is brilliant and in absolute sync with the mood of the film. It captures the beauty of the location so nicely. Faahad, Aishwarya and Sharafuddin are brilliant in their respective roles.
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7/10
Amala Neerad Magic..!
AjmalNazar21 September 2018
Positives:

1. BGM: Sushin Shyam create a good BGM score 2. Cinematography & Color Tone: First half was slightly lag but the Littil Swayamp frames cover the laggines 3. Amal Neerad;s narration & making style 4. Fahad Faazil & Aishwarya combination scene was pretty good 5. Sharafudheen,Vijilesh Karayad, Arjun Ashokan characters. they give outstanding and surprise performance 6. Climax: One of the main highlight is climax, action scenes & BGM in climax was pretty good

Negatives:

1. Slightly laaging in first half 2. Need more scary atmosphere in first half
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5/10
The problem with Varathan .....
PimpinAinttEasy30 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
..... is that the tuneless and deafening background score overshadows almost every other aspect of the film. Imagine that you sat down to read a book in your house on a weekend. But somebody plays a religious song over a loudspeaker in your street and you find that you cannot concentrate. So you take your book and go to the park. But a couple over there is watching something on their mobile phone and giggling loudly. So you go to the bar for a drink. But the bartender switches to a furious Indian TV serial just as you sat down. The eve-teasing women harassers in Varathan are minor villains compared to its cacophonic and irritating background score. And that is only one of the film's problems. There are many more. The last 30 minutes are a joke. How is the over the top fight scene (that is at odds with rest of the movie which was very realistic) different from one of those loud Tamil movies with Ajith, Suriya or Vijay? Fahadh Fazil and Aishwarya Lakshmi are bland as the yuppie couple. Atleast the villains played by Sharafudheen, Vijilesh Karayad ,Nisthar Sait and Kochu Preman were entertaining.
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10/10
was he involved with Johnwick and John McClane in his IT project?
pagal-tigerniskson23 November 2019
The movie gives a undeniable vibe of straw dogs throughout and climax was absolutely stunning as the slowmotion and background score tooks it to beyond as an average movie. This is Fahad's one of the best next to kumbalangi nights and thondimudhalum. He is composed, meticulous not give a damn attitude at the end made it worth a watch.
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9/10
Experience the thrill
jeesonjacob21 September 2018
A breathtaking thriller which have power-packed performances from Fahad Fazil and Aishwarya Lakshmi.The cinematography of the film is so good.
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8/10
Molecule Review: Varathan (8 Stars)
nairtejas6 October 2018
One of the best-made Malayalam films of 2018 takes us on a gradual and sorta dull journey of two relatable characters - wife and husband (played by Aishwarya Lekshmi and Fahadh Faasil) - who are called outsiders by the vanity- and lust-filled inhabitants of the village where one of them spent their entire childhood. Amal Neerad's Varathan can be divided into two parts: one: 90 minutes of sheer narrative storytelling where the couple move from Dubai - romancing their way through some great tracks by the talented Sushin Shyam - and trying to find solace in a small farm house that is not devoid of voyeurs who reflect the collective real-life criminals we have around us; and two: a 30-minute taut action-packed revenge montage (again powered by a scintillating score and some great shots by Littil Swayamp), triggered by basic human instinct and between humans of two different kinds that is arguably the most magnificent series of sequences ever made in modern Malayalam cinema. When you finish watching the movie - numb across your body, yearning for Faasil to make some coffee for you - you will want to watch the second part one more time. And a few more times until you have made everyone in your friends and family circle to catch it on the big screen. Varathan will take you by surprise and make you forget its shortcomings. It will make you stronger and you'll like it because the world is not a good place anymore. TN.
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7/10
An incredibly enjoyable action-flick with really good cinematography!
rohinprasanth20 September 2018
Varathan is a thriller-action drama movie directed by Amal Neerad starring Fahadh Faasil, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sharafudheen, Dileesh Pothan and various other talented faces and it tells the story of Abin and Priya, a couple settled in Dubai who after going through some hurdles in their personal and professional lives decides to move to Priya's father's estate back in Kerala. But things are not so friendly over there and the couple is faced with men who crave for a woman's body and a society of people who mock at a man and woman together. Varathan is truly an entertaining movie, but it has it share of problems. However let us start with the good stuff first. Firstly, the cinematography is jaw-dropping. Littil Swayamp has done it once in Parava and has done it again in Varathan and he is proving he is one of the most talented people in the industry. The camera shots and setting are presented beautifully and there is some amazing stuff to be seen towards the end of the movie. Secondly, the acting. Fahadh Faasil knocks it out of the park once again as Abin, which we should be expecting at this point. He is one of the best in the malayalam industry. This is not in anyway the maximum of his potential as his character is one which does not have a lot of depth but its fine. Aishwarya Lekshmi gives out a genuinely good performance. Her character could have been annoying but she handles it with grace. Dileesh Pothan is fine as his character however he does not have much to do. The absolutely amazing performances of the movie belong to Sharafudeen and Vijilesh. They were fricking amazing, menacing, ruthless and genuinely annoying. The background score and action scenes are very well done and put out a good show. The bad parts of the movie are prominent. The movie falls into cliche territory, with a lot of the plot being predictable. You can see stuff happening miles before they actually happen and this is bad for any movie. This predictability makes the majority of the movie difficult to get through and thus the movie lags a lot. The plot is stretched out for so long. The director is intending to build the characters and the plot, however personally I feel as if these characters does not have much to be built about as they are caricatures of what they portray. Also a minor nitpick I have with this movie is that the songs does not really match the tone of the movie. Some of the songs break up that tone of the movie with booming EDM music which I thought were unnecessary. However, I must mention the final 15-20 minutes of the film which will shake up the theatre. The action sequences are so goddamn good! All in all, Varathan is an enjoyable thriller-action flick with some fine acting, good bgm, incredible cinematography and action sequences that will stick on your mind long after the credits roll.
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7/10
Puh-lease.
Azanspy20 September 2018
I don't know why Varathan has got such rave reviews. It is a movie with no sense and no heart. It's actually a piece of nothingness. What the protagonist do in the final 20 minutes is the reason for this wide publicity. Just think about that final sequences with the story. You'll know what I mean. A big clap for Littl Swayamp. His cinematography was brilliant.
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1/10
Two hours of upset..
arunmathew-6344130 September 2018
I do not understand how this movie gets so many good reviews. The script is a complete flop, fake looking and not good enough for a movie in this time. Every single person in a tiny village looks like criminals and sounds like they never see a women. ? And a normal couple have to deal with all these criminals and that happened to be the whole movie ? Everyone's' face are showing one by one with a strange scary with scary background music which turned to be so annoying. Two things good about this movie were both Fahadh and Aishwarya did excellent and the end gives some kind of relief. . Most part of the movie give the audience extreme discomfort. If you want to be upset for two hours watching a village full of extreme weird people very close to mental patients trying to torture a normal couple , then go for it. Otherwise don't waste your time. I would give 1 out of 5 rating for this. 1 is just for Fahadh and Aiswarya's natural acting. . The back ground music from beginning to end is so annoying, inappropriate, too loud in many spots and that person should not be in cinema field.
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3/10
Action didn't suit fahad
opotraining24 August 2020
This movie fails in all fronts. The storyline is weak. The logic is silly. Action scenes are laughable. last 15 mins hero gets all power and beats everyone. Fahad is not an action hero and he should not do anymore action movies. Just watched this because of fahad and high rating and was totally disappointed. I remember watching Hollywood movie with similar story.
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9/10
Fahad Faasil + Amal Neerad = AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!!
krishnanandhu-0691619 October 2020
What a film, even though the first half of the film was a bit laggy it is actually making you wait for the awesomeness in the climax.Actually the climax is the main highlight of the movie. And Fahad, you guys know about that no need for me to explain, he is just lit AF. You can give him any role and its safe in his hands and Aiswarya laksmi has also done a great job from her side.Sharafudeen needs applause for what he have done in the film, from his usual comic role to a perfect villain was just WOW!!! i don't say it as a must watch but if you do watch the film doesn't dissapoint you. KEEPS YOU ENTERTAINING!!!!!
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1/10
Varathan malayalam movie Vs English movie Straw Dogs
vijaypillai28 September 2018
Resemblance to English movie Straw Dogs is just coincidence !
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9/10
A brilliant thriller!
sreeramsajeevsajeev21 September 2018
What you would expect from an amal neerad film... A slow but goof 1st half which is a build up... To an absolutely thrilling second half.... Edge of your seat thriller for the last 30 min of the film!! Easily fahad's best perfomance so far in his career.... Just go n watch!! And good luck finding critics... If there is any!
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6/10
Decent movie letdown by the last half hour
DennisBergkamp1010 December 2018
The general concensus has been to the contrary that the movie is elevated to another level by the last half hour. I have literally no idea who Amal Neerad is but I did happen to watch CIA and that is the kind of movie that kills your will to live. Varathan is a significant improvement on CIA but that is till the last half hour.

The 'Home Invasion' sub-genre may be new to the Malayalam film industry but Hollywood has been doing it for decades. Among relatively recent movies Hush, You're Next, The Strangers, The Purge(1st) have all been decent movies based on home invasion plot. Varathan is just style or substance in the last half hour.

To be honest the first 90 mins of Varathan is very watchable. Its a very mellowed down portrayal of a modern day couple who struggle to fit in small town Kerala. Fahadh is brilliant as usual and so is Dileesh Pothen. Aishwarya Lekshmi is competent most of the times but when she plays angry she is laughably bad.Sharafudeen has been typecast for far too long as the funny guy so its very difficult to take him seriously as the bad guy.

The last half hour really ruined what could have been a really good movie. Amal Neerad should have watched a few more Home Invasion movies and tried to depict a more realistic picture rather than go all out for style over substance.

Fahadh has a rifle at his disposal but rather than shoot one of the intruders he chooses to fill a balloon with inflammable liquid, then proceeds to throw it at the intruder and then sprays aerosol on a lighter to set the guy on fire. Thats how flashy the movie is. How about just throwing some kerosene on the fella directly from the jerry can and then throwing a lit match at him?

Bollywood tried for ages to master horror-comedy before they finally suceeded with Stree. Varathan is not a bad start for the home invasion genre but it could have been so much better.
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6/10
Watch only for Fahaad Fasil
paragshrijoshi22 January 2020
Why this director even made this movie is the biggest question to be asked here. I watched this movie based on the reviews which majorly said that the movie's climax is awesome. Yeah it was awesome but what about the rest of the movie it was not up to the mark and that thing made the climax even less impactful as well. All of a sudden a naive looking IT Professional turns into martial art Pro just after a few lines of disgrace from his wife. It's like the movie takes millions of year to develop the last 20 mins of the movie. Watch it strictly for both the leads' honest portrayals and cinematography.
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