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DRIVING LICENSE (2019 / Malayalam) - An exciting and entertaining film that also cleverly points towards the internal politics of the world of cinema. (Review By Bobby Sing)

22 Apr, 2020 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases

A new exciting, mainstream film with a leading star coming up with a fresh engaging plot and that too related with the world of cinema itself, should be a reason enough to go for it at once. But if that is not enough, then DRIVING LICENSE narrates a novel subject revolving around a superstar and his officer on duty fan, who decides to take revenge from his icon for an undeserving humiliation.
Competently directed by Lal Jr. and written by Sachy, the film jointly produced by Prithviraj Productions and Magic Frames, can be called a social drama, an engaging thriller and a subtle satirical comedy all together presented with an apt background score. Apart from being an entertaining watch, the film excels in its emotional sequences too, due to the terrific lead performances by Prithviraj Sukumaran playing a superstar (like himself) and Suraj Venjaramoodu as the Traffic Police officer along with a talented supporting cast also featuring a young kid. In fact the film has its most brilliant scenes focusing on a father and his kid without saying much in words or dialogues.

Despite the avoidable drawbacks such as all clichéd women characters and some exaggerations (though I loved watching both Deepti Sati and Mia George), DRIVING LICENSE honestly scores more because of the wide issues or sub-plots incorporated in its innovative script ranging from the self-respect of a star/police officer to the political games played within the film world.

For instance, beginning with the opening show of a super-star’s film celebrated by the fans in a theater, it clearly points towards the die-hard fans, their big fan-clubs and possibility of them turning into a violent mob in a minute. It also comically reveals the tricky relationship between a producer-director and their star, mentioning forced product-endorsements in scripts and strategies tried by the big names in order to ruin the films/careers of their professional rivals (including trying supernatural powers). Particularly catch the dialogue, where they boldly mention how the big icons snatch away the screens from their opponent’s film, forcing them to release it on only a few available and less-equipped theaters.
Though Maneesh-Shah Rukh’s FAN was also based on a script revolving around a similar premise of a tussle between the star and his fan, but this is something entirely different with much superior characterisation and presentation, also involving the superbly executed emotional family elements.

Yes, at times one does feel everything happening too fast involving a huge star icon, but that doesn’t let the well-crafted sequences lose their overall impact. As a result, the film successfully turns out to be a remarkable attempt for the makers as well as an enjoyable creation for the viewers with many novel features. In short, just imagine a complete two hour film made on the one line narration that a Superstar of cinema doesn’t have a Driving License. It should ideally create enough excitement to know more.

So do go for it and find yourself expressing in one way or another as the fans emoting on screen around Prithviraj.

Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for bravely and confidently attempting a complete film on such a plot and then cracking it successfully)

(An important afterthought – Though DRIVING LICENSE is a perfect script for an icon like SALMAN KHAN, but I can easily say, Hindi Cinema cannot even dream of making a two hour film on such simple one line plot as a bold innovative experiment. To be honest, the production house representatives would have ridiculed it in just a few mintues or may be in a few seconds.

Yes, they can easily find all the courage to try it as a REMAKE since the original has already been accepted by the South audience. But then the viewers of Hindi mainstream movies too haven’t shown any encouragement from their side for such courageous experimental cinema in the recent past.)

(Note : At the time of writing this article the film could be seen at Amazon Prime with English Subtitles) 

Tags : DRIVING LICENSE (Malayalam) Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Regional Indian Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Regional Gems of Indian Cinema
22 Apr 2020 / Comments ( 6 )

Hi Bobby,
Loved your review as always. Do see another Malayalam movie on Amazon prime Ayapan koshiyayam. Prthiviraj and Biju Menon play amazing roles. I am sure you will enjoy it. Another gem is called KD it's a Tamil feel good movie won several awards, I am sure it will definitely be one of the movies to watch before you die.
Keep up with the excellent work.

Bobby Sing

Hi Sanjay,
Thanks for your kind response and support.
Will surely try to watch both these movies. Will have to see where they can be seen with English Subtitles.
Do Keep Visiting and Writing in.

SuchithKumar Chandran

Dear Bobby Jee,

Please do watch Ayyappanum Koshiyum from the same writer Sachy, who also directed the movie. Its an amazing movie.

Sadly Sachy passed away on 18th June 2020. 



Bobby Sing

Yes Suchith, 
Will be watching it soon.
After posting this review only I got the info of the writer passing away just a few weeks back.
Was really sad to know that........ He had so much in him and had just started I think.
Will watch his other film soon.


Sir, do watch Ayapannum Koshiyum (Amazon prime) also from Sachy. It's sad that I got to know about this great writer only after his demise

Bobby Sing

Yes Avik, I also came to know about the sad news after watching the film.
It is really tragic as he could give us so much more.
Will surely watch his other film soon too.

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