Konjam Pesinaal Yenna Movie Review: All talk no show

Konjam Pesinaal Yenna Movie Review: All talk no show

The film struggles due to weak writing, overly clichéd romantic dialogues, and a virtually nonexistent screenplay—all of which make it a forgettable watch
Konjam Pesinaal Yenna(1.5 / 5)

Romance dramas have undoubtedly been explored extensively, leading some to wonder if there is anything truly innovative left to offer in the genre. This question arose for me during the interval of Konjam Pesinaal Yenna. Like many other love stories, this film also concludes with the classic 'Happily Ever After' trope (oops, spoiler alert). Set against the backdrop of the Covid lockdown, the film aims to provide a screenlife experience of falling in love, reminiscent of Halitha Shameem’s Loners from Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadha. However, it struggles due to weak writing, overly clichéd romantic dialogues, and a virtually nonexistent screenplay—all of which make it a forgettable watch.

Director: Giri Murphy

Cast: Keerthi Pandian, Vinoth Kishan, Kaamna Batra, VJ Aashiq

Rating: 1.5/5

Konjam Pesinaal Yenna centres on Sanjana (Keerthi Pandian), whose dormant feelings for her childhood crush, Ajay (Vinoth Kishan), are reignited when they meet again virtually. Despite not confessing her past emotions, the two make phone conversations during the lockdown and begin to form a new bond without attaching any traditional relationship labels to it. However, their journey towards acknowledging their feelings is fraught with challenges typical of any love story.

Initially, Konjam Pesinaal Yenna presents promising elements beyond the typical romantic tropes. Ajay's serious self-introduction provides insight into his character, while Sanjana's introduction is bubbly and jovial, accompanied by two alter-ego-like characters that reflect her insecurities and strengths. While these characters introduce a fresh angle, the inconsistent writing causes them to disappear after a few initial scenes, only to reappear during the climax. Similarly, Ajay's dog, Plateau, is given a voice, delivering comebacks that surpass typical human responses. Even the few novel ideas in the film go amiss when they’re most needed to save the story.

Beyond its inconsistent execution, the film's biggest flaw is its lack of a compelling narrative. The conflicts that romantic stories generally introduce are limited to either disagreements between the main couple or family disputes. Given the supportive familial environment depicted in the film, the former is emphasised as the primary conflict. However, this conflict lacks depth and appears illogical. Ajay decides to end a non-existent relationship with Sanjana because of his friend's failed long-term relationship. While the film hints at Ajay's trust issues stemming from his parents' constant fighting, the narrative fails to effectively convey this trauma. Furthermore, the audience is left in the dark regarding Ajay's reasons for falling for Sanjana. While Sanjana has harboured feelings for him for years, Ajay's attraction to her seems to stem solely from her being there for him during tough times. This raises the question: What role does Sanjana truly play in Ajay's life beyond that of a therapist or a confidante?

Of course, Keerthi Pandian and Vinoth Kishan justify their roles as Sanjana and Ajay, respectively. Particularly in the school flashback scenes, Keerthi's portrayal of Sanjana feels authentic, effectively immersing viewers in the experience of a schoolgirl deeply infatuated. However, for a screenlife film, the chemistry between the leading duo is not functional, let alone sizzling. We hardly feel like the two are in love, and the several montages of them falling in love are definitely not helpful. In fact, Sanjana shares better chemistry with her best friend Adhi (Kaamna Batra); they even affectionately refer to each other as 'Baby'. The film's portrayal of female friendship is indeed refreshing, but unfortunately, it is short-lived.

More than true to its rhetorical title, Konjam Pesinaal Yenna has no dearth of syrupy dialogues that quite test your patience. When Sanjana realises that she has fallen in love, she makes a statement—“Avan satta paikulla vizhundhu apdiye avan heartbeat ah ketute irukanum nu thonudhu”—that comes out as nothing short of cringe. Further, Ajay is also made to speak lines like, “Saagamale swargatha paatha maari irukum,” when she asks him how it would be to experience rain with his lover. Such lines come when the film is already punching below its weight, rather than presenting worthy lines when the situation demands them.

When the film neared its climax, I wondered if it would have made better sense to release it during or immediately after the pandemic. At least, then, the film might have resonated a little better with the troubles of the lockdown period still fresh in our memory. Even then, the film would need a proper storyline, a bit more gravitas in the romance department, and much better writing. As it stands, Konjam Pesinaal Yenna is just all talk, no show.

Cinema Express