Do group trips carry the same significance for everyone involved? And if not, could it impact the overall mood of the trip? Nithish Sahadev’s Falimy narrates the story of a family of five from Thiruvananthapuram embarking on a journey to Varanasi/Banaras/Kashi in Uttar Pradesh, fulfilling the wish of the family’s elderly patriarch.
However, each family member has a personal reason for agreeing to the trip. Meanwhile, the lack of camaraderie among them results in continuous quarrels, exchanging harsh words, constant complaints, nagging, and a blame game. This dynamic proves to be challenging for the elderly man, who initially desired to embark on the journey alone. Along the way, the already dysfunctional family (which explains the deliberate spelling mistake in the title) encounters numerous unexpected events, intensifying their conflicts and compelling the elderly man to take a drastic measure. The rest of the film explores the aftermath of these events.
Though the film has an intriguing premise and delivers occasional moments of laughter and joy, Falimy fails to maintain consistency in its performance, often fluctuating in terms of quality and engagement. Even in its attempts to evoke specific emotions in viewers — whether laughter or melancholy — it falls short of fully eliciting those feelings. Thus, most moments in the film pass by without making a significant impact.
While Falimy knows its direction, the unfolding narrative lacks a compelling force throughout. Aside from sporadic moments of humour and a few interesting scenes that crop up once in a while, the film fails to create a lasting impression.
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In terms of performance, while Basil Joseph’s acting may bring to mind his numerous past roles, it doesn’t fall short in this instance. However, it can’t be labelled as particularly amusing either. His inconsistency in maintaining the Thiruvananthapuram accent, which only slips out occasionally, is very noticeable. While he effectively conveys anger and desperation, Basil’s performance somewhat falters in scenes depicting the character’s sorrow.
Jagadish and Manju Pillai, on the other hand, excel in their roles as usual. Without their performances, it’s uncertain if the movie would have connected with viewers as much. Despite the industry possibly overusing Jagadish’s ability to portray complex characters, he delivers a unique performance here too. Meenaraj Palluruthy impressively assumes the role of the family patriarch, reminiscent of the late veteran actor KTS Padannayil’s performances in many movies. Sandeep Pradeep also stands out in his portrayal of the quirky, confused and scared youngest member of the family.
While debutant Nithish Sahadev successfully captures small instances and subtle actions of the characters to convey their emotions and the story to some extent, the lack of compelling elements in the narrative makes his sincere effort somewhat unrewarding.
Nevertheless, the way he has set each scene, particularly those in Uttar Pradesh, stands out, providing a refreshing experience for viewers. Cinematographer Bablu Aju’s visuals also contribute to keeping viewers glued to the screen, despite the flaws. Vishnu Vijay’s music effectively elevates the film without allowing it to collapse entirely.
In short, despite having the potential to be significantly better, Falimy falls short of hitting top gear due to unimpressive writing.
Falimy cast: Basil Joseph, Jagadish, Manju Pillai
Falimy director: Nithish Sahadev
Falimy rating: 2 stars