Loved In Theaters, Loathed On Screens! Why Did Varshangalkku Shesham Backfire On OTT?
Loved In Theaters, Loathed On Screens! Why Did Varshangalkku Shesham Backfire On OTT? ( Photo Credit – YouTube )

Varshangalkku Shesham, a feel-good family drama, received mixed but mostly positive critical reception during its theatrical run. However, things changed once it began streaming. People began to dislike the movie, and trolls tore it apart on social media.

Listing down the problems voiced by netizens after watching Varshangalkku Shesham on OTT:

Weak Storyline, Unremarkable Execution

Let’s talk about the first issue: the weak storyline. The story is predictable, even from the trailer, but that’s not uncommon for Malayalam movies. Films with thin plots have been successful before. For example, Aavesham, released on the same day as Varshangalkku Shesham, also had a weak plot but became a successful venture. Although it faced some criticism, it wasn’t to the same extent. Another example is Thallumaala from 2022, which also didn’t have a compelling plot.

However, the problem with Varshangalkku Shesham is that its filmmaking style wasn’t stylish or mesmerizing for the viewers. Aavesham and Thallumaala featured impressive stunt choreography, visuals, likeable characters, enjoyable songs, and background scores. Even if a movie lacks a strong plot, it can compensate with captivating visuals, an engaging auditory experience, and unique storytelling. Thallumaala had a particularly unique storytelling style, which contributed to its success.

Underdeveloped Characters and Implausible Coincidences

This factor can sometimes be overlooked in fast-paced action movies or outright comedies. However, for a feel-good family drama like Varshangalkku Shesham, strong character development is crucial. Viewers need to feel emotionally connected to the characters; they should cry for them, rejoice with them, and understand their motivations.

For example, Pranav Mohanlal‘s character, Murali, is underdeveloped. The film doesn’t explain why Murali re-enters Venu’s life (played by Dhyan Sreenivasan) after discovering Annie’s affair (portrayed by Kalyani Priyadarshan). Additionally, the movie fails to convincingly explain why Murali allows another music composer to publish Murali’s song under the other composer’s name.

The film is also riddled with implausible coincidences. For instance, Annie recognises Murali’s violin playing in the middle of nowhere, stopping her luxury car, talking to him, and taking him home—all seem far-fetched. Moreover, her husband is in the film industry, and connecting them with a producer who happens to be the son of Venu’s first movie producer feels too convenient. These coincidences were unconvincing to the audience.

Some movies can pull off coincidences well. For example, Anjaam Pathiraa was full of coincidences and stretches of logic, but it still became a hit. The key is in the storytelling and how well the audience connects with the characters and the plot.

Excessive Length and Overused Song

The movie’s excessive length of 167 minutes detracts from the experience. One of the most criticized aspects, especially after its streaming release, is the overuse of the song “Nyabagam.” Although “Nyabagam” is a good song, its repeated use negatively impacts the viewing experience.

Nepotism and Performance Issues

This film explores the theme of industry nepotism while focusing on the struggles of outsiders trying to break into the film industry. The cast and crew have strong ties to the industry, with the producer Visakh Subramaniam being the grandson of the founder of Kerala’s second film studio. Director Vineeth Sreenivasan is the son of renowned actor, scriptwriter, and director Sreenivasan, and one of the leads, Dhyan Sreenivasan, is the director’s younger brother. Another lead, Pranav Mohanlal, is the son of superstar Mohanlal, and Kalyani Priyadarshan is the daughter of acclaimed director Priyadarshan.

The film has received criticism for using makeup to age the leading cast, which many found artificial. Pranav Mohanlal’s attempt to emulate his father’s vintage performances has also been heavily criticized, and overall, most of the cast’s performances have been widely panned, except Nivin Pauly.

Despite receiving criticism, Varshangalkku Shesham was a commercial success. The film ended its global theatrical run with an impressive total gross collection exceeding INR 82 crore, showing that it was well-received by theatrical audiences. The film industry is unpredictable and heavily influenced by luck and timing.

Vineeth Sreenivasan is a well-regarded figure in the industry. Most of his previous movies have been successful, giving him a high theatrical success ratio. Positive word of mouth significantly contributed to the movie’s success. Reviews, particularly in the Malayalam language, were generally favorable, and Dhyan Sreenivasan’s interviews also played a part in its success. What made the movie so hyped?

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