The only critical curveball that I would throw towards Jithu Madhavan’s ‘Aavesham’ is about just how thinly plotted it is. Beyond three young boys who get into a fight with their seniors at their Engineering College in Banglore and then befriend a ‘local support’ to get revenge, there’s not much to it. However, it would be incredibly reductive of me to corner it for being just that, especially when the experience the film provides goes beyond that.  

For instance, it features another incredible Fahadh Faasil performance, who plays Ranga, the good gangster at the center of this story. He is rowdy and on the edge, but he is never not looking to have a good time. The film reintroduces FaFa as Ranga, and you can never anticipate what he is going to do or how he is going to do it. Every time Faasil comes on the screen, you are bound to be captivated by this performance that feels straight out of a Kung Fu movie, only this time, the gangster has taken an oath of not hitting anyone. 

Is he anti-violence, though? Not really! Instead of hitting people on his own, he calls in the cavalry that does it for him at the drop of a hat. In a way, the film introduces us to hero worship and how it truly originates. For one, stories are an important part of myth-building, and Jithu Madhavan’s ‘Aavesham,’ which loosely translates to ‘charged,’ knows of this tendency. 

The story goes like this: Bibi (Mithun Jai Shankar), Shanthan (Roshan Shanvas), and Aju (Hipzster) have recently joined a college in Banglore. Their parents drop them off, and the boys take advantage of their newfound freedom straight away by engaging in engineering boys’ shenanigans. However, when one of the gangs that their seniors run kicks their egos and buts, they venture out to local bars to find some gangster who will help them take revenge for their bruised masculinity. 

A still from Aavesham (2024).
A still from Aavesham (2024).

This is where they meet Ranga, and his gang, which is mostly led by the head honcho Amban (Sajin Gopu). Basically, all you hear about Ranga, and how he became to be the popular gangster that he is are from the stories Amban tells these kids. Ranga is feared and respected by men of his accord, and thus, the three boys become his prodigy. Much like them, we never see Ranga lay a hand on anyone and often get truly melded into the fiction that is being laid bare in front of us. Is he really the kind of killing machine that these stories tell us? Did he really kill his own brother and bury him in the kitchen of the house the three boys now live in? Aavesham is not about those questions or about the answers either. 

It is, however, a very subtle satire on the way men are trapped in the vicious circle of violence. It starts and ends with egos being broken, and no matter how easy it may look in movies, shifting between anger and fun is not that easy. The ‘charge’ that violence or the power over someone else offers can only be cooled down by alcohol. Ranga befriends these kids because he is just a jolly good fellow who likes fellow Malayalis. Faasil chews the scenery, serving black comedic gold. One of my favorite running gags is him trying to speak in Tamil and Hindi just to make the updated crowd of Banglore understand. 

Jithu Madhavan uses enough style and oomph to balance the fights with rib-cackling dialogue delivered at jogging speed. Not a single second is wasted in the first half, and the film breezes past with all those high-stylized, intentionally slow-mo sequences with jokes, gags, and fun straddling along the way. The energy, which was at an all-time high, dips in the second half of the film, though, and these moments, which mostly focus on the trio of kids, are not as engaging as they could have been. Additionally, the music by Sushin Shyam, in spite of being incredibly loud, provides the kind of ‘excitement’ the tone is going for and never feels too forced to keep the narrative going. 

All of it, including the violence, is funny until it becomes incredibly personal. ‘Aavesham’ doesn’t stop to deliver sermons, though. It quickly engages its core and kickstarts again to offer pure entertainment. If you are looking for a collective experience of watching a truly entertaining movie, you will not be let down by Fahadh Faasil and Friends yet again. 

Read More: 10 Great Malayalam Movies to Stream on Prime Video

Aavesham (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Aavesham (2024) Movie Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Sajin Gopu, Hipzster, Mithun Jai Shankar, Roshan Shanvas
Where to watch Aavesham

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