Sabaash Chandrabose Review | A Middling Retro Comedy

In recent times, we have seen films with thin plots work immensely as entertainers. VC Abhilash’s second film after Aalorukkam, Sabaash Chandrabose, is a stretched comedy that works partly because of the setting. Set in the 80s, the film starring Vishnu Unnikrishnan and Johnny Antony is half-hearted yet sporadically funny.

The story is set against the backdrop of Nedumangad in the mid-’80s. TV was a big deal at that time and Yatindran Nair, who had a black and white TV, was a prominent name of that village. Almost everyone in that locality used to come to his house to watch TV, and is a close associate of our hero Subhash Chandrabose aka Chandran Yatindran. When Yathindran’s father-in-law died, Chandran was handling everything. Chandran’s nephew’s eagerness to watch TV the same day causes some issues between them, and Chandran vows to buy a new TV. We are seeing the results of this decision in Sabash Chandrabos.

The events of the film are set in the year 1986, and you get that element of nostalgia immediately. Owning a television was a big deal at the time, and VC Abhilash built the central conflict around that idea. Abhilash is trying different types of humor here. From some slapstick jokes to interesting dark humour, Sabaash Chandrabos is always on the lookout for that fun element. To be honest, there were some really good moments in the film for which the entire audience laughed out loud. But the change we see somewhere in the trajectory of the film leaves you disappointed.

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As Chandrabos, Vishnu Unnikrishnan looks confident in terms of body language. But his attempts to break the Trivandrum slang, especially when the character is angry, fail. Johnny Antony as Yathindran was the most entertaining performer here and his distinctive humor matches well with the film. Jaffer Idukki was scintillating in a never before seen avatar. Irshad, Sudhi Koppa, Sreeja Das, Remya Suresh, Kottayam Ramesh, etc. are other names in the cast. State Award winning dubbing artist Sneha Palieri is paired opposite Vishnu Unnikrishnan in this film, and ironically she has only one line in this film.

Just as Sajin Babu had made Ayal Sasi, similarly after VC Abhilash Alorukkam, Sabash moved to a different place in Chandrabos. It is a very Priyadarshan-ish comedy at the content level. But Abhilash tries to incorporate layers of 80s nostalgia, sarcasm, arrogance, caste politics and trade union culture. While some of them worked in giving the film a peculiar texture, most of the conflicts here had a very short life span. The entire Chandran vs Yathindran controversy gets resolved only after the interval. And the film turns into the next hurdle in front of Chandran that we already knew. But then, the humor in those areas makes it a non-boring affair. The film’s music, especially Kamakippattu, in orchestration with that retro vibes, stayed with me.

Sabash Chandrabose has nothing new to offer, but for its runtime of just 2 hours, I’d say it never feels like a dull movie. With the entire village becoming a character in the process, the film is a moderately retro comedy with occasional laughable moments.

final thoughts

With the entire village becoming a character in the process, the film is a moderately retro comedy with occasional laughable moments.

Signal

Green: Recommended film

Orange: OK, Watchable, Experimental Movies

red: not recommended

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