From the outset, Lavakusa, directed by Gireesh Mano, is at once gripping and unconvincing. While it's a good entertainer, the movie is quite amateur in form and content. The story begins with a half-baked and ill-set context and the situations appear to have been contrived in a jiffy.
Although the plot is interesting, everything seems a bit improbable and far-fetched. For example, the interactions and exchanges between the lead characters played by Neeraj Madhav and Aju Varghese are beyond the bounds of possibility. The duo become bosom buddies in their first meeting itself and make a business plan in no time at all! Well, really?
Neeraj Madhav and Aju Varghese complement each other pretty well, making the humorous elements appealing and fresh. The quagmire of odd situations they find themselves in and the travails that afflict them make for an engaging watch. But more often than not, they are loaded with slapstick that generates some ticklish laughs.
The two Malayalee loners meet up at the counter of a liquor outlet in Chennai and instantly strike a chord. As part of a plan, the ‘instant BFFs’ leave for Kerala by train. It's this train journey that changes the course of their lives. The drama gathers steam with the entry of Biju Menon.
The vagabonds soon find themselves in a real quandary and their efforts to ride out the predicament make up for the rest of the movie. And here’s the most interesting bit: Lavan (Neeraj Madhav) and Kushan (Aju Varghese) ultimately become police informers who help solve a crime. If that sounds like Nadodikkattu, it’s purely unintentional.
By half-time, it's more of a serious business about cops and conmen and felony. With slapstick, fun, suspense, and action blended in equal proportion, it is intensely intriguing towards the end. However, it is a low-key affair that screams of mediocrity.
Neeraj Madhav, Aju Varghese and Biju Menon prove their mettle as outstanding performers. Deepti Sati, Major Ravi, Vijay Babu appear in prominent roles. The script, replete with marvelous dialogues, is tout and coherent. The background score and music by Gopi Sundar ooze charm.
The song 'Ente Kayyil Onnoola…', which is originally rendered by Atul P.M. (Munna), has been recreated with a slight change in lyrics and orchestration. The camera cranked by Prakash Velayudhan admirably captures the environs of the plot. Lavakusa is definitely well above what one would assume of it from the trailer but falters due to its harebrained narrative.