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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Saturday Night movie review: This Nivin Pauly protagonist is a huge disappointment

Saturday Night is one of those movies whose trailer was way better than the actual movie. The trailer promised us an action-packed entertainer with non-stop fun, laughter and a good dose of feel-good moments. But what we actually got was a bland dish of disappointment. Even Nivin Pauly’s “party animal” charm didn’t strike a chord.

Stanley (Nivin Pauly) is a very problematic character. He thinks he is a good friend because he goes too far when it comes to his friends’ personal affairs. And this movie isn’t about him learning to respect boundaries and not suffocating his friends into submission. Sadly, director Roshan Andrews and his screenwriter Naveen Bhaskar are editing an overworked feature film to argue that Stanley is right. His timid twisted approach to dealing with life’s challenges is good. But his friends’ struggles to make something of their not-so-perfect lives is a bad thing.

The hero’s friends, Ajith, Justin and Sunil aka Poocha go their separate ways after a bitter incident. The four live their lives and become busy dealing with the pain of aging. Ajith and Justin assume that even Stanley would have moved on and made an effort to do something with his life. They are in for a rough shock when they discover that he is somewhat trapped in a time capsule. Stanley even now lives in the same room, wears the same clothes, hasn’t solved his Rubik’s Cube, uses the same old tape recorder to play music, and still waits for his friends to join him on vacation.

Roshan and Naveen fail to understand that not everyone can afford Stanley’s no-work, all-play lifestyle. And they try to push the wrong meaning of true friendship down our throats. This film’s solution to dealing with the challenges of modern life is to take the hopeless light. It is one tone and it never focuses on the other side of Stanley’s act of being a noble and loyal friend. For example, Poocha (Aju Varghese) collapses at a black-tie party and has no respect for guests and personal boundaries. And the whole sequence was staged in such a way that everyone at the party was wrong for not appreciating Poocha’s candor. There are more such examples of how this movie tries to paint those who hate the antics of Stanley and his company are bad, and those who love it are good.

Saturday Night is overtly melodramatic, misguided, indifferent and judgmental. Try not to fall asleep while watching this movie.

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