Vellam, On SunNXT With Jayasurya, Is A Watered-Down Depiction Of Alcohol Withdrawal

Director: Prajesh Sen

Forged: Jayasurya, Samyuktha Menon, Siddique

In Vellam, Jayasurya performs Murali, a hopeless alcoholic who spends every sober second on the lookout for a drink or discovering cash for it. And his presence makes the movie watchable. Within the early components of the movie, he appears to be like perpetually dazed and stumbles appropriately via his efficiency. However Murali just isn’t a goner (regardless that he steals from his personal home). He reveals a level of self-awareness that’s seen to us. You see that he’s conscious of his drawback. Can he use it to reform himself? An fascinating thread all through the movie is how director Prajesh Sen toys with the boundaries of Murali’s self-awareness. 

At occasions, it appears to be like like he’s in management and may be capable to repair his drawback. It’s on this stretch that we get dialogues the place Murali says — with tears held again by alcohol-induced dehydration — that it’s not like he doesn’t perceive it when folks ask him to stop. What nobody tells him is, how? In moments like these, you suppose that Murali may get higher if solely he had entry to scientific therapy. He has a spouse (Samyuktha Menon) and a daughter, in spite of everything. A pal takes pity on him and helps him with simply that. 

And so, Murali will get excessive — up on the mountains, this time — and checks right into a de-addiction heart. Scenes that present Murali’s tedium with out the fun of drink and his involuntary visualizations of partying with pals present how his behavior creeps up on him in sudden methods till the strain explodes—and he breaks. He escapes, determined for a drink. 

This tennis match between his self-awareness (when sober) and thickheadedness (after a drink) is fascinating at first, however Prajesh has no variations to his Murali-makes-up-his-mind-but-breaks-at-the-sight-of-a-bottle theme. Like Murali’s see-saw between sobriety and drunkenness, many of the movie is spent swinging the viewers from pitying him to feeling hopeful about him. 

What retains it watchable, other than Jayasurya, is the movie’s tackle alcoholism: it’s an issue however it’s not a vice. A personality within the movie even says that there’s nothing unsuitable with alcohol so long as it doesn’t run (and spoil) your life. There’s a scene the place Murali helps ladies above the consuming age get a drink at a bar that gained’t serve girls. However Vellam isn’t a movie that celebrates consuming. The tune that performs within the bar is about unrequited love: like Murali’s personal. Prajesh acknowledges that alcohol may be useful. 

So, in a movie that takes an enlightened view of dependancy, when Dr. Subrahmanyam (Siddique) who runs the rehabilitation heart lashes out at Murali for breaking his vow to not drink, it runs towards the grain of the movie. You’d suppose that the one dependable approach to reform somebody was to scare and disgrace them as people nugatory to society—principally, shock therapy. For a movie that lovingly chronicles the numerous ‘cuttings’ Murali has at completely different places, it spends little or no time displaying how he turns into de-addicted. He didn’t must go to a de-addiction heart if homilies about duty may repair his drawback. 

As a result of sequences that depict the best way Murali returns to normalcy are introduced as montages, they don’t have the specificity or element of scenes that depict his drunkenness. Murali is extra convincing (and relatable) as an alcoholic than as a businessman. It’s not that we don’t consider in his change. It’s simply that he’s way more endearing drunk than sober. Vellam is principally Murali’s staring contest along with his subsequent glass, with little else happening.

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