Hridayam Review: A marvelously structured memory piece on soul searching

Hridayam is its own beast, a running, portrait of a man's life structured like vignettes of a memory once lived.The film, rather unfairly I must say had a quality to live upto, to no fault of its own.

Updated on Jan 22, 2022   |  02:49 AM IST  |  573.6K
Hridayam Review
Hridayam Review: A marvelously structured memory piece on soul searching

Director : Vineeth Sreenivasan 

Cast : Pranav Mohanlal, Darshana Rajendran amd Kalyani Priyadarsan.

Star Rating : 3.5/5

Review by Arjun Menon

The promotion buzz surrounding Vineeth Sreenivasan’s latest directorial outing Hridayam has been hyped beyond any sense with the pulsating success of the song “ Darshana”, a track that secured a zero budget pre release reach to the otherwise lowkey marketing campaign adopted by the team. Hridayam was awaited, particularly for the first union of the second generation of the classic Mohanlal – Sreenivasan combo, with their sons teaming up this time. So the film, rather unfairly I must say had a quality to live upto, to no fault of its own. The film is its own beast, a running, portrait of a man's life structured like vignettes of a memory once lived.

There are a few tropes of Vineeth Sreenivasan's filmmaking sensibilities that inform the populate the world of Hridayam like the lost hero, saccharine textured ancillary characters that blurt out throwaway inspirational lines and a seamlessly integrated soundtrack that almost runs incidental to the narrative, yet never for once calling attention to itself amd the film feels like a rehash of his earlier films albeit assembled with much more finesse. 

The plot is merely an excuse here, almost a lose structure for Vineeth to graph of the life of Arun ( Pranav Mohanalal ) a twenty something engineering student whose chanced love affair with Darshana ( Darshana Rajendran) catapults his life in wayward directions, commencing on a journey to rediscovering his self. This might come across as a rather flimsy description of the basic conceit of the movie, however its Vineeth Sreenivasan's assured sense of placing memories in relations to one's life's journey that earns the delayed yet poignant payoff at the end.

Meandering narratives are an legit art, given we are in the hands of a assured maker and this is exactly the overall feeling one gets after experiencing Arun's journey from a spoilt brat to a responsible, nurturing young man. The film is a collage of events deftly tied together around heart ache, lost love, nostalgia, soul searching and another staples associated with "feel good" genre, albeit with a grand narrative design.

The film belongs to Pranav Mohanlal, who threads on tight ground here, with a whole nostalgia piece mounted on his shoulders. For a film revolving around a person's journey, Hridayam reserved very little depth to its protagonist and the writing invokes the shades of a man out of touch with himself, not in control of his own decisions and Pranav's relative newness as an actor brings in a quality of empathy to the hero's journey. The obviously reclusive persona of the actor, lends some subtext to the part, thereby the film in whole - as the man in search of his place in the world.

Darshana Rajendran gets to play the muse at the centre of the narrative, a direct echo of the director's channeled memory, trying to project something very personal to him, a series of reflections that surround modern day relationships. Kalyani Priyadarsan gets the rougher end of the deal,  in a more one note part that is incidental to the central narrative relationship in many ways, yet she makes it entertaining in her own way.


Hridayam is a gigantic, ambitious  puzzle of a narrative, built confidently around a certain time in a person's life that informs the type of person that you turn out to be in the future. The screenplay is infused with fifteen songs yet the interlacing works for the nature of the story, a character driven memory piece as opposed to a plot heavy drama. The level of enjoyment you may derive from this film depends on totally the kind of person you are, the introspective, nostalgia heads will have  a ball time with this one and the more sure footed, nostalgia deniers, might find it just another privileged kid trying to sort of his messy past with not much going on, luckily I belong to the former group and would love to watch any so content that Vineeth Sreenivasan, places as the central conceit, just to marvel at the pleasures derived from his unique form of cinema.


ALSO READ: Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee Review: This tale takes you on a trip down memory lane; worth a watch

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