Varshangalkku Shesham review: A nostalgic journey to the 80s’ Malayalam cinema with fine performances by lead actors

Director Vineeth Sreenivasan cleverly designs a story which connects with the Malayali audience's passion for cinema.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Apr 11, 2024

Varshangalkku Shesham is directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan

Varshangalkku Shesham (Malayalam)

11-04-2024, Drama, Comedy , 2 hours 45 minutes U
  • Main Cast:Dhyan Sreenivasan, Pranav Mohanlal, Nivin Pauly, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Basil Joseph, Neeraj Madhav, and Aju Varghese
  • Director: Vineeth Sreenivasan
  • Producer:Visakh Subramaniam
  • Music Director:Amrith Ramnath
  • Cinematography:Vishwajith



The wait is over. Vineeth Sreenivasan’s latest directorial Varshangalkku Shesham has finally hit the screens.

What was expected from the movie was an emotional and nostalgic journey to the 1980s-1990s in Madras—the paradise of South Indian cinema.

With Varshangalkku Shesham, director Vineeth delivers the same.

He takes the audience to the good old days when Kodambakkam in Madras was a hub of people passionate about cinema. They dreamt and spent their life to enter films. Some won the game, others lost it.

In Varshangalkku Shesham, Vineeth Sreenivasan cleverly designs a story which connects with the Malayali audience’s passion for cinema.

It reminds us of those old movies of senior actors and technicians who had spent the majority of their lives in Madras.

Vineeth takes elements from various incidents from the life of his father Sreenivasan.

In fact, the actor-director disclosed that he was inspired by Udayananu Tharam (2005), written by his father, which also had a central theme of cinema.

Nevertheless, he ensures that his latest directorial venture is not a biography.

Without much ado, let’s check what the movie is all about:

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Pranav Mohanlal in a poster of Varshangalkku Shesham

Pranav Mohanlal in a poster of ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’. (Supplied)

Murali (Pranav Mohanlal) and Venu (Dhyan Sreenivasan), both friends, hail from Padyam in Kannur.

Murali is a small-time musician and Venu is interested in drama and scriptwriting.

They both travel to Madras to pursue their dreams in the film industry.

Here, Vineeth Sreenivasan gives an account of old Madras in the 1980s by depicting the struggles faced by upcoming artistes.

The first half of the film revolves entirely around Murali, Venu, and other budding artists like directors, music composers and technicians who dream of making a mark in cinema.

Murali and Venu’s friendship is the core of the flick. They initially stay together and then part their ways but their brotherhood keeps them together emotionally.

While Venu becomes a successful film director, Murali’s fate has something else in store for him and it would be a spoiler if revealed.

Shift in times

The second half of Varshangalkku Shesham happens in the current period when the world of cinema is undergoing a sea change.

Many new characters are introduced here. For example, Midhun Molly (Nivin Pauly).

Here, Venu does not remain in the limelight for decades and decides to craft a new film. However, he faces many obstacles, which are presented hilariously — a big relief from the otherwise emotional drama.

Venu’s new film becomes the point of attraction in the second half. How he crafts it is one of the major selling points of the movie.

The reunion of Murali and Venu also forms a key factor here.

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Nostalgia is the main takeaway of Varshangalkku Shesham.

Vineeth Sreenivasan takes the audience to an era when old-school filmmaking was prevalent.

Given that the first half is set in the 1980s and early 1990s, the old studio floors, the old dubbing suite, the music console, and the old-fashioned musical instruments make a section of audiences yearn for those golden days.

In the story, Murali and Venu arrive in Madras on the day the late actor-politician MG Ramachandran (MGR) becomes chief minister.


Nivin Pauly in Varshangalkku Shesham

Nivin Pauly in ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’. (X)

Nivin Pauly’s character is a caricature of a superstar who delivers seven consecutive flops.

His dialogues on nepotism and body shaming come out really well.

The scenes between Dhyan Sreenivasan and Pranav Mohanlal are another highlight of the movie and their combination really works wonders in theatre.

The writing offers some good moments, especially in the second half.

The scenes between Pranav Mohanlal and his old love (played by Kalyani Priyadarshan) are lovely. But Kalyani’s character could have been developed well.

In some scenes, the movie is a bit slow but that isn’t a major problem.

One unique characterisation in the film is that of an old music composer whose death is shot hilariously. The scene comes as a surprise to the audience.

Debutant Amrith Ramanath’s music adds depth to the emotional scenes. The background score gives a retro feel. The songs go well with the story.

Cinematographer Viswajith Odukathil brilliantly presents the old Madras. The frames and colour tones add a new charm to the flick.

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Dhyan, Pravan steal the show

Amrith Ramnath composed the music for Varshangalkku Shesham

Amrith Ramnath composed the music for ‘Varshangalkku Shesham’. (X)

Dhyan Sreenivasan and Pranav Mohanlal are the show-stealers.

It’s good to see Dhyan in a role with depth. It is certainly one of his laudable performances.

Pranav has equal screen time as Dhyan and the actor proves his mettle.

Interestingly, Pranav and Dhyan are shown as elderly people in the second half and their looks have come out well.

Aju Varghese plays the dual role of father and son, who produces Venu’s two different films in two time periods. He is good in both roles.

Nivin Pauly, as the superstar, trolls himself. In reality, Nivin Pauly hasn’t delivered a successful movie at the box office for some time. The actor does not shy away from taking a potshot at himself.

Nivin Pauly is in full form with good comedy timing, an area where he proved himself earlier, too.

Basil Joseph, as an associate director, is another prominent character. He shares some lighter moments in the flick and is apt for the role.

Kalyani Priyadarshan’s role in both eras is eye-pleasing.

The other cast, including Bhagath Manuel, Deepak Parambol and Neeraj Madhav, does their part well.


Varshangalkku Shesham is an emotional journey of two friends told against the backdrop of Madras. Vineeth Sreenivasan’s magic and the brilliant performances of the lead actors will surely draw crowds to theatres.

(Views expressed here are personal.)