While veteran actor Shankar’s performance is a letdown, Prithviraj and Mamta Mohandas keep the film more or less a remake.
Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun released in 2018 is one of the best black comedies to come in Indian cinema. Given how widely it was seen in theaters when it was released, and the fact that it’s available on Netflix with subtitles, the remakes that have come out and are in the pipeline, as long as they don’t work for plot, interpretation or Don’t offer new surprises in context, so long as they seem unnecessary. For example, what Anjali Menon did with Koode (a remake of Happy Journey) or Mara (a remake of Charlie) with Dilip Kumar. The remakes aren’t necessarily better than the originals, but at least, they offered something different in taste.
Bhramam, directed by Ravi K Chandran, is set in the picturesque Fort Kochi. The colors and mood suit the film’s absurd premise, giving it a whimsical air. Ray (Prithviraj) is a pianist who is pretending to be blind because he thinks it is easier to get work and cheap accommodation this way. If I remember correctly, in Andhadhun, the reason was less hire and want to be a better musician with Akash. It’s a small departure but probably explains Ray’s transfer better. Prithviraj seems to have got his mojo back after a poor show in Cold Case and Kuruthi. The actor is comfortable as Ray, never overdoing the drama and faithfully shifting between cat and mouse roles.
Raashi Khanna plays the role of Anna, a young woman who approaches Ray and falls for him. While she looks beautiful, Raashi’s dubbing is not in sync at places and makes her character less impressive. The scenes between him and Ray feel forced and gimmicky. But the real disappointment is veteran actor Shankar who appears as faded star Uday Kumar. He is clearly uncomfortable in the role, and his scenes with Mamta Mohandas, playing wife Simi, score high on the cringe quotient.
However, as the plot progresses, Mamta gets better and her character finds herself deeper into the pit she helped dig. Tabu, who plays Simi in Andhadhun, finds it difficult to play with such class and impeccable comic timing. Mamta does quite well, especially in her scenes with Prithviraj.
Unni Mukundan, Jagdish, Smini Sijo and Anish Gopal also do well in their respective roles. Ananya is witty as the clueless wife, making a mark within the limited screen time.
While it is a believable remake of Andhadhun, the dialogues have been adapted for the Malayalam version with some improvements. For example, in one scene, Simi retorts, “Do you think I’m jolly to drive people away?” Maneka, Shankar’s heroine in many older films, makes a cameo, adding some fun to Malayalees who have watched many of his films.
For someone who has already seen the original, however, Brahmam doesn’t really offer much. You find yourself still thinking about the memorable Hindi film, wondering how he did that scene and comparing it to the remake. It may not be fair to a remake, but it is what it is.
After months of eager wait, Prithviraj Sukumaran’s much awaited film Brahmam has now released on Amazon Prime Video. A remake of Bollywood blockbuster Andhadhun, the film portrays the story of a blind pianist who witnesses a murder. Unfortunately, the film directed by acclaimed cinematographer Ravi K Chandran basically failed to recreate the magic of the original, and it ended up as a boring attempt at making a classic black comedy in Mollywood.
The final highlight of Andhadhun was Tabu’s scintillating performance. However, Mamta Mohandas, who played the role of Tabu in the Mollywood remake, failed to captivate the audience, and at times, she went on board badly. Director Ravi K Chandran picked Mamta to play the role at a time when actresses like Sweta Menon and Leena are readily available in Malayalam as a better alternative.
Prithviraj Sukumaran has done justice to his role as a blind pianist. But, the actor once again relished his clichéd mannerisms, including his iconic, ‘Eh Eh’, several times in the film. The old-fashioned actor Shankar was apt for the role, but he didn’t have enough screen presence to perform. The only saving grace of the film is the performance of Unni Mukundan who excelled in the role of a police officer.
As we all know Ravi K Chandran is a prolific cinematographer, and his stunning frames play a vital role in making Brahm a watchable film. Apart from the cinematography and production value, nothing is worth mentioning when it comes to Brahm.
The film does not offer anything new to the audience, and if you have already watched Andhadhun, stay miles away from this remake.
Brahm is a boring film that failed to recreate the magic of Andhadhun. If you have seen Andhadhun, then click on Amazon Prime anytime to watch this Mollywood remake.