Pranav Mohanlal, perhaps, could not have waited for a better cinematic package than Aadhi to mark his entry to Malayalam cinema as a lead actor. The Jeethu Joseph directorial offers everything that a film in the populist mold can offer and explore all aspects of Pranav's acting skills.
Aadhi starts as a drama set in a middle class family with a young man and his aspirations at the center. By the end of the first half, it evolves into an action thriller that taps the possibilities of parkour to the maximum.
Aadhi is a cat and mouse game in which the innocent protagonist gets trapped in a city that is virtually ruled by an all-powerful tycoon. He has no other option than escape using all his cognitive and kinesthetic intelligence. The plot doesn't fail to convince despite a familiar order of sequences.
At the center of the narrative is a convincing performance by Pranav as an innocent young dreamer as well as a courageous and smart parkour expert. He gets all the support from a neat line-up of co-actors including Sidhique, who plays his father, and Lena, the lovely and caring mother. The characters played by Anushree, Sharaffudheen and Meghanadan join the protagonist during his survival attempts in the Metro city and offer some emotional, yet mirthful moments.
Pranav plays Adithya Mohan, aka, Aadhi, an aspiring music director. His trip to Bengaluru to perform in an elite club leads to a tragedy for which he is held responsible. The film progresses through his attempts to escape the imminent danger.
The neatly executed and action-packed climax is meant for the fans of popular cinema who would cherish the thrilling moments. Actor-model Tony Luke plays a techie who joins Aadhi at a crucial point. He turns out to be the perfect partner for Aadhi in the tensed moments leading to the climax.
Jeethu Joseph can be proud of setting up the perfect platform for a grand entry of the star kid which millions of his fans have been waiting for long. The characterization of Aadhi is nearly perfect as he has been shaped to be a darling of all.
He is a caring son, a determined youth, a good friend, a musician and above all a man of action. The only aspect of emotion that is missing in the film is a bit of romance which leaves the so-called heroin with nothing much to do. But then our hero is so determined to chase his dream that he doesn't have the time to waste on such matters.
In short, Aadhi is tailor-made for the entry of Pranav Mohanlal into the world of stardom and the writer-director has done everything possible to keep the fans of the superstar in good spirits.
The film starts with Aadhi singing his own version of 'Mizhiyoram' the classic melody from Manjilvirinja Pookkal, Mohanlal's first release. The film keeps reminding you that you are watching the junior Mohanlal.
Some of those sequences, including the one that sends fans into a frenzy, could have easily been omitted as they would not harm the flow of the narrative.
The kind of native advertising a builder magnate attempts through the film also doesn't gel well with the work of art.
On the acting front, Pranav may look a bit stiff at times. Then you just have to remember two things. First, it's his debut as a lead character in a feature. Second, the young man on the screen is the junior Mohanlal.