Nivin Pauly with Nayanthara in Love Action Drama (2)-1568179734083
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Dhyan Sreenivasan’s directorial debut ‘Love Action Drama’ (‘LAD’) disappoints with an insipid and unconvincing film. Touted as a romcom, ‘LAD’ was loaded with great expectations-lead pair of Nivin Pauly and Nayanthara-but is proof of how good talent can be squandered.

Dinesh (Nivin Pauly) pines for his cousin, even on the eve of her wedding. He has been in love with her since childhood, despite her making it clear that she was not interested. She is now marrying another man.

An incurable alcoholic who smokes too, Dinesh believes that life is a party all the time. With a family business and enough wealth to bank on, he does nothing beyond annoying others with his uncouth attitude and irresponsible ways.

So, it is really hard to believe when a beautiful and confident woman like Shoba (Nayanthara) — who is managing an NGO in Chennai — falls in love with Dinesh. They meet at his cousin’s wedding in Kerala. Shoba is his cousin’s friend. When Dinesh’s ploy to take revenge on his cousin’s groom goes wrong on the wedding eve, it’s Shoba who ends up injured and in the hospital. Dinesh is entrusted to take care of Shoba.

Love is just waiting to happen or so it seems. Instead of being angry with him for her situation, Shoba finds him innocent. On her return, she even sends him a “miss you” message on WhatsApp. Reason enough for Dinesh to pack bags and reach Chennai to win her love.

Assisting him in this endeavour is his friend Sagar (Aju Verghese), playing accomplice and adviser in this love game.

The audience is forced to believe that love brews between the two. That this love story applauds stalking is another matter. Here, love is more about impressing through deceit and less about honesty in a relationship.

There is nothing compelling about the characters that makes you invest in their lives. Clearly, the script required better writing. There seems to have been an urge to fill it with as many commercial elements possible. The resulting cocktail tastes insipid.

Pauly succeeds in making Dinesh as someone with no redeeming trait to be worthy of Shoba’s love. His scenes with Verghese are often loud and drenched in booze banter.

Verghese’s expressions are exaggerated. Humour is completely forced and slapstick.

It is Nayanthara who keeps the sagging script afloat. Looking stunning in glamorous attires, it’s a change after her recent experiments in Tamil cinema, where she has played more performance backed characters.

When Shobha slaps Dinesh in a scene, he tells her that even his mother has never done that.

‘LAD’ gets long drawn out with scenes of barely any significance to the story. Like the scene where a foreigner consoles Dinesh in her accented Malayalam after he leaves Shoba. And, why are children shown in romantic relationships? Seriously, it’s not funny.

The screenplay is erratic, new characters surface to add drama to the love tale and there is action — as promised in the title — winding up the story in a hurried manner.

‘LAD’ is all frills with little substance.