Varathan (2018) Poster

(2018)

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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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8/10
One of the best malayalam movies of 2018 (8.0)
sujith789_reviews12 October 2019
  • Excellent direction and camera work.
  • As usual Fahad did a great job. Sharafudeen excels as Villain in this movie.
  • BGM is outstanding, songs are good.
  • For the first 90 minutes, movie builds suspense and tension and all that is answered in the last 30 minutes flourish.
  • Final score - 8.0/10.
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6/10
Simple story !
Quirk4723 June 2020
Seriously the screenplay is Dragging ..at a point I experienced why I am watching this film but...but Last 40 min the Film takes into next level ! Watch it for Fahadh's performance if u like him. He steals the show.
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9/10
Superb Movie.
ahamedmn30 April 2021
Started with a feel good concept and ended with a badass. Aishwarya Lakshmi's acting was highly notable. A good story based on the society and the evil people and last Fahad ikkas show. Man He is awesome🙌🔥🔥🔥
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7/10
Dragged yet thrilling
sarathpillaijl11 September 2019
The whole events in the first half and majority of the second half of the movie will make you hate the negative characters to the max, they have managed to do that perfectly. You will experience a thirst for revenge as the movie progress, and in the end that's exactly what you get, but when you get it, its over the top. Looses the naturallity the movie was trying to establish. Nevertheless, it doesn't fail to thrill. Most of the time we feel that we want to press the fast forward, as the movie has been stretched to this duration, and the urge for a revenge continue to increase so its hard to keep watching the lagging part of the movie. The direction and screenplay is mesmerising. The vintage looks and the usage of sound to make the movie more thrilling was done perfectly. The cast is again a plus. Nothing to complain. The story, is an out of the box Idea. The premise is small. Overall a good movie.
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8/10
Last 30min 🔥 🔥
vijaygujjar18 July 2019
#varathan Drama thriller last 30min 🔥

Movie starts with slow and soft family drama completely takes U turn in 2nd half with fantastic action sequence. Last 30min of the movie 🔥🔥.

BGM & songs 👌🏼👌🏼.

As usual #Fahadfazil 👌🏼👌🏼
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8/10
Not a one to miss!
harelives12 July 2019
I watch this after a long time after it's release and yet I feel like posting something about it because I really enjoyed it. This is a script for Amal Neerad and as usual he has nailed it with his style of filmmaking. He could have shorten it by about half an hour by reducing the number of slow motion shots however. And I don't place this movie on top of his previous work I enjoyed such as Ayobinte Pustakam. This is not the best but in it's style, it's one of a kind.

At first you don't have a clue where the movie takes you but when the heat rises up you know it's going to be something exciting.

Fahadh Faasil is so far my favourite actor in Malayalam cinema and even though the character of Abin is limited, he's doing his usual magic.

I remember several movies of this type where the hero is doing some actual planning stuff to beat the villain. This is another version of the same scenario.

It's a good movie to watch which is really enjoyable. Specially the feeling when you get sometimes throughout is rare.
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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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6/10
First one hour is a drag
tintuvjoe16 November 2020
Movie had potential, just boring the first hour. Takes a while to get anywhere. Why is all of a sudden he turns into Rambo?? It would make Sense if he was an ex combat veteran. This girl was preaching about how barbaric the locals are yet she stayed home alone and went out by herself. little stupid, not well written. Cinematography was somewhat good hence the reason for my rating of 6/10 But I wouldn't watch it again
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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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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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10/10
Neet film
sujiparathattil19 December 2018
Brilliant direction A simple story plot,nothing new in story But it is directed in a brilliant level,awsme camera,lighting,everything I just loved this film One of the good films which have no story support to entertain Good work
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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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9/10
Beautiful Thriller
zameerahmedz3 July 2019
This movies starts with soft family drama & completely takes U turn in 2nd half with some fantastic action scenes. This has very strong story content fabulously depicted by Fahaad & Aishwarya
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8/10
Superb action thriller movie
MichaelMKR27 May 2020
Excellent action sequences in the end and good acting from lead pair.
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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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10/10
Another thrilling story from Amal Neerad
geomariageorge2 December 2018
Like most of Fahadh's recent movies, this was breathtaking. It shows the how petty moral policing of a village evolves into life-threatening circumstances. Beautiful and a must-see by everyone. I loved the sheer realism of the marital conflicts to the essence of fear beautifully wrapped in the suspense of meticulous direction. Loved the pace at which the final action almost turned the villains to dust. Love it, will promote it everywhere. Clever, enrapturing, brilliant, realistic, relatable and heart-wrenching. I wish Amal Neerad will make a horror movie with the same elements (or more, of course). I am a fan for life, of both now; Amal Neerad and Fahadh Faasil. I feel like I want to volunteer promoting the movie now that I feasted on it. Great watch in a long-time. Ideal for almost all Indian situations. Please remake it properly in all the Indian languages. PS: I was so enamored after watching the movie, I just finished writing a detailed plot on Wikipedia.
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9/10
Terrific story line
jajampardhu9 February 2021
Fahadh faasil one man show especially last 40 minutes was superbbbbbbbb
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8/10
Awesome N Trilling Second half
mysterychannel28 September 2018
Movie is thrilling but the BGM in 1st half is kinda unnecessary ...
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