Navarasa Review: Summer of 92 - Even Yogi Babu can't make us laugh in this Priyadarshan film
This Priyadarshan-directed short doesn't really do much to invoke the haasyam rasa from us
Summer of 92 begins with a shot of Yogi Babu (playing Velusaamy) returning to his hometown, as a celebrated comedian, and it feels quite meta in how this is true, in a sense, of the actor himself and his rise from being an unknown victim of body-shaming in the name of humour. Soon though, the film, in its impatient transitions to some dull flashback sequences featuring a younger version of his character, relegates him to the background. And then begins the familiar insult comedy. “Panni moonji vaaya,” someone calls him.
Rasa: Haasya (Laughter)
Cast: Yogi Babu, Remya Nambeesan, Nedumudi Venu
Streaming on: Netflix
It doesn’t really make sense, but the film is supposed to be about Haasyam, and so, you are meant to find it funny. What the first segment spoke about—compassion—this film seems rather devoid of. Even a dog bears the brunt of some discomfiting treatment, and when someone suggests that it be killed, you are encouraged to process it as a joke. The onlookers Velusaamy narrates his anecdotes to seem to laugh a lot, perhaps to pressurise you to do the same, but not once does it work. Right at the beginning, you are told that a day without laughter is a day wasted. Well, this film certainly doesn’t help you in that regard.