There is nothing spectacular about Vijay Superum Pournamiyum but an hour after leaving the theatre, if you find yourself humming the last piece of music in the film and feeling pretty good about it, you have to admit, it was cute – the film, the actors, the story without surprises. Director Jis Joy who also wrote the film, based on a real life story, gives you the absolute comfort that comes from a unpretentious script. The film is a remake of the Telugu blockbuster Pelli Choopulu, directed by Tharun Bhascker.
The story is of young people of today, but unlike quite a few of its contemporaries, Vijay Super does not feel the need to force certain traits movie-makers think young people should have. Even the love stories are passed off as the most ordinary happenings in a most ordinary conversation. Vijay – Asif Ali – meets Pournami – Aishwarya Lekshmi – for a pennu kaanal, a ceremony that Indian families have for arranged marriages, when the prospective groom's people go to see the prospective bride and her family, and fix an alliance.
Quite a few coincidences put Vijay and Pournami in a room for a couple of hours, where even when they are both not keen about the arranged marriage and admit it to each other, they end up sharing their life stories. That felt most natural – the comfort of being able to tell your story to an absolute stranger who is not going to judge you and probably will not be in your life after this. Pournami tells Vijay as much – “You won’t always get someone to listen to you these days, so talk.”
Pournami’s lines are so beautifully real like that – no big literature in it, no philosophies that many directors feel compelled to put into their heroines’ dialogues. Just everyday lines, and Aishwarya Lekshmi, in her fourth film, seems to have mastered this art of easily and effortlessly conveying her part. Only question is if her characters so far appear a lot like each other – not their stories, but their setting. Mostly middle or upper middle-class, strong headed, bold, city-bred characters. And here, Aishwarya as Pournami is a bit of a contrast – she wants to start a business, be successful, and at the same time, lets her parents decide her future.
Asif Ali, meanwhile, easily fits into the shoes of Vijay – who has to give himself confidence by looking at the mirror and saying, Vijay is super (hence the name). Kochi guy, with a couple of trouble-prone musician friends, unthinking of the future, simply accepting whatever comes in the way of life – that somehow appears to really suit Asif, like a character written from scratch for him.
The musician friends – Balu Varghese and newbie Joseph Annamkutty Jose - give the laughs they are meant to, easily, entertainingly. Then there is Siddique, doing the typical nice truthful dad with principles, that he has often done beautifully in the past. KPAC Lalitha as the grandmother is a lovely and necessary addition, and she isn't put there because the script needs a complete family. Her lines, simple and smooth, are what you wish somebody would say to you. Again, Jis Joy’s script gets a laurel for the non-pretentiousness of it all.
Another character you notice is Anish Kuruvilla’s, the actor reprising his role from the Telugu film, as the snobbish dad of a young woman from whom Vijay gets a proposal. Perhaps his character is the only part that seems slightly unfitting compared to the rest, the richness and the ambition not suiting the otherwise ‘paavam’ script.
Renji Panicker is by now a seasoned dad. Shanthi Krishna who re-launched herself with a powerful mother role, it’s sad to see, has become a standby mother with a few typically motherly lines. Darshana Rajendran appears to have permanently taken on the friend role, and as Pooja in Vijay Super, she becomes the RJ who brings the climax to the film. But they all come together to make the film, as we said before, simply cute.