When you are the son of a Superstar like Mohanlal, your debut movie as a hero is obviously going to rank high on the list of movies that generate humongous expectation. The best thing that director Jeethu Joseph did was to release trailers that gave the public an exact idea about what to expect from Aadhi. Pranav Mohanlal, who had won the Kerala State Film Award for the best Child Artist in 2002, vanished for a long time from the limelight, before returning to the industry as an assistant director to Jeethu.
Produced by Antony Perumbavur under the banner Aashirvad Cinemas, the movie that has the grandson of K Balaji and the nephew of Suresh Balaje playing the title role, has been written and directed by the 'Drishyam director' Jeethu Joseph. An outright response to the question, 'What is the plot of Aadhi?' would be, 'Nothing that you haven't seen before'. The next question would be, 'Then what makes it special?' and the answer would be the name 'Pranav Mohanlal'. Yes, his charisma, excellent stunts and youthfulness are what bring life to Aadhi.
The movie tells the story of Aadhi, who after getting involved in a dreadful accident is forced to stay on the run, just to stay alive. What is the accident? How did Aadhi become involved in it? Will he survive his hunters? Two hours and thirty nine minutes with Aadhi will give you insight into all these questions.
As the quote, "High expectation is what makes you feel let down," goes, high expectations from a writer/director who has produced classic thrillers in the past might make you feel a bit let down, as the basic story line has no fresh ideas other than Parkour, a training discipline using movements that were developed from military obstacle training courses. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in the fastest and the most efficient way possible. It includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling and many other movements.
The screenplay in the first half has a small lag as most of the crucial scenes carry the burden of predictability. A better gripping screenplay, keen eyed direction and a fresh story could have created a masterpiece as Pranav's stunts fall in the genre called 'out of the world' for Malayalam cinema. The second half, even though there are many loopholes in it, is in a better shape towards the climax.
The songs and background score by Anil Johnson is good and succeed in creating a mood that fits the film. The warm tone used by cinematographer Satheesh Kurup, somehow doesn't blend in perfectly with the film.
Siddique, playing the role of a father mighty concerned about his son, totally owns the role portraying it in a different way. While Anusree Nair, Sharafudheen, Meghanathan and Siju Wilson do a good job in supporting roles, Lena seems to have lost touch with her natural style. Even though Pranav doesn't look in total control of his performance in the first half, he smoothly absorbs Aadhi's characteristics towards the latter part of the film.