Driving Licence (film)
|Directed by||Lal Jr.|
|Produced by||Supriya Menon|
|Music by||Yakzan Gary Pereira|
|Cinematography||Alex J. Pulickal|
|Edited by||Ratheesh Raj|
|Distributed by||Magic Frames|
|Box office||384.5 million|
Driving Licence is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language comedy-drama film directed by Lal Jr., written by Sachy, and jointly produced by Supriya Menon and Listin Stephen through the companies Prithviraj Productions and Magic Frames. The film stars Prithviraj Sukumaran and Suraj Venjaramoodu, with Miya George, Deepti Sati, Saiju Kurup, Suresh Krishna, Lalu Alex, Major Ravi, and Nandhu in supporting roles. The film's music was jointly composed by Yakzan Gary Pereira and Neha Nair.
In the plot, film actor Hareendran wants a driving licence urgently, his ardent fan and a Motor Vehicle Inspector, Kuruvila Joseph, agrees on delivering it illegally, but their rendezvous does not go well, on the contrary, a feud develops between them that takes a toll on each other's personal and professional lives. Driving Licence was released in India on 20 December 2019 and internationally from 25 December 2019. The film met with a positive response from critics and was a commercial success at the box office.
Kuruvila Joseph, a Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) at Kakkanad RTO is a passionate fan of Malayalam film actor Hareendran. Hareendran is preparing to leave for the United States for his wife's diagnosis, delaying filming of his The Great Dictator which already incurred a budget overrun. With the climax still remaining to be shot at an Indian Navy leased land, the crew learns that Hareendran's driving licence that needs to be submitted to get clearance is missing. The producer is outraged as the film has to be wrapped as soon as possible.
Due to a clerical error, Hareendran cannot apply for a duplicate licence. Issuing a new licence would take time. Hence, Hareendran's politician friend Peringodan meets Kuruvila for speeding the procedure, Kuruvila agrees to issue licence illicitly without Hareendran even attending the test, in return, he summons Hareendran to the RTO to meet him in person and as a proof in case of an inquiry. Meanwhile, Hareendran's professional rival Bhadran is plotting to suppress competition from Hareendran by means of occult.
Even though he realises going to the RTO might give away clues for his visit, Hareendran hesitatingly agrees, hoping that an unadvertised visit calls for less visibility. On his arrival, he sees TV channels surrounding the premises, amidst, a peon gives a misinformation to a reporter that Hareendran, an avid driver, was driving without a licence until now. The news spreads. Inside the office, an infuriated Hareendran scolds Kuruvila in front of his son and superiors for the leak and leaves. Angered Kuruvila inform reporters that Hareendran was arrogant and wanted a licence without going through the normal procedures.
Hareendran's reputation has been severely damaged. To worsen the situation, Bhadran's fans community head, Saheer, organises a hit-and-run attack on Kuruvila; at midnight, a masked gang cast stones at his house and Kuruvila's son suffers head injury. Kuruvila believes it is Hareendran's men. Meanwhile, Hareendran reluctantly cancels his US trip on the producer's insistence. While rushing his son to the hospital, a frustrated Hareendran calls Kuruvila by phone and threatens him, which affirms Kuruvila's conviction.
On police inquiry, Kuruvila and wife accuses Hareendran. But Hareendran is not charged as his involvement was inconclusive. Protesting it, Kuruvila and family performs Satyagraha in front of Hareendran's residence, where media and fans also assemble. Amidst, a drunkard named Agasthi is trying to meet Hareendran but denied entrance. Addressing media, Hareendran states that Kuruvila is a crazy fan and a kind of stalker who finds gratification by being a part in his idol's life through disruption. He shows Kuruvila's fan messages as evidence and announces that he has decided to attend the test in the supervision of Kuruvila.
Hareendran gets permission for an open test, which can be viewed by media and can be telecast live, the computer-based test is replaced with a direct question-answer session with Kuruvila. Kuruvila asks difficult and unusual questions, still Hareendran manages to pass the learner's test. Kuruvila's son is bullied by Hareendran's fan-boys in school, with that, Kuruvila decides not to send him school until Hareendran has failed and is determined to fail him using maximum discretion. Meanwhile, Hareendran's wife requires a surgery, a flight is charted to reach there as soon as the test is completed.
On the practical assessment day, Hareendran smoothly completes the "H test", but Kuruvila fails him pointing petty mistakes, overruling it his superior pass him. Kuruvila makes Hareendran wait until noon for the followup "road test". At noon, he postpone the test by two days, which happens to be the day of Hareendran's wife's surgery. Hareendran announces to the onlooking fans and media that he is forfeiting driving forever because Kuruvila has misused his power and he will retire from acting if this disrupts his life farther. Enraged fans began lynching Kuruvila, Hareendran saves him and flees from the place.
While en-route, they clear the misunderstandings. Hareendran brings Kuruvila and family to his house. Two days later, before leaving to the airport Hareendran interacts with the press about their reconciliation. A drunken Agasthi interferes and deliver him his lost licence and said he has been trying to reach him since the beginning. To the crowd, Hareendran says: "I can drive now, right ? Received my driving licence". He then drives off in his car.
- Prithviraj Sukumaran as Hareendran
- Suraj Venjarammoodu as Kuruvila Joseph
- Miya George as Elsa Kuruvila
- Deepti Sati as Bhama Hareendran
- Saiju Kurup as Johny Peringodan
- Suresh Krishna as Megastar Bhadran
- Lalu Alex as Jagannatha Varma
- Major Ravi as J. RTO Samuel Jackson
- Nandhu as Driver Kunjali
- Shivaji Guruvayoor as RTO Siva G.
- Adhish Praveen as Jinto Kuruvila
- Arun as Movie Director
- Aneesh G. Menon as Zaheer
- Salim Kumar as Agasthi
- Vijayakumar as DYSP Joseph Unniyadan
- Nandhu Pothuval as Production Controller
- Kalabhavan Navas as Menon
- Sohan Seenulal as Anandhu Panicker
- Mridul Nair as Kabeer
- Boban Alummoodan as Kottukapalli
- Sunil Babu as Murugan
- Kalabhavan Haneef as Pillai
- Shafique Rahman as Channel reporter
- Vijayaraghavan as Himself (Cameo)
- Idavela Babu as Himself (Cameo)
- Mafia Sasi as Himself (Cameo)
- Innocent as Himself (Cameo voice-role)
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Rating 4 in a scale of 5, The New Indian Express praised writer Sachy, stating that he "proves once again why he is one of the best screenwriters in Malayalam cinema at the moment. His writing carries the sort of colour and flavour last seen in the early Priyadarshan, Sreenivasan, and Siddique-Lal films" and that "the purpose of any good cinema is to not just entertain but also deliver a wholesome community experience, which is exactly what Driving Licence does", and also praised the actors' performances. Anna M. M. Vetticad from Firstpost rated 3.5 out of 5 stars and said "Prithviraj is terrific in a captivating drama on pride and pettiness, fandom and fury", and "each time you think you have cracked Driving Licence, it takes a surprising turn. This screenplay is one of the cleverest pieces of writing to emerge from Malayalam cinema in what is already a great year for Mollywood" and praised the direction, editing and actors' performance.
Malayala Manorama rated 3.5 out of 5 and stated that "The plot, which gains incredible momentum from a small thread, is actually the hero of the movie. The screenwriter and the director have been able to present it amazingly without making the audience bored" and praised the acting of Prithviraj and Suraj. Rating 3 out of 5 stars, Sify dubbed it "entertaining" and "a fine journey that keeps the viewer engaged all along", also adding: "with a tight script that has humour, emotions and drama, Sachy scores well. Lal Jr. packages the movie in an entertaining way. The visuals and the music are good" and praised Prithviraj for his "top notch performance" and Suraj for his "terrific form".
The Indian Express rated 3 out of 5 and called it "an engaging watch" and that the "director Lal Jr and his writer Sachy have conceived a solid premise that makes this meta-film an engrossing watch". Rating 3 out of 5, The Times of India wrote that the film "has all the necessary elements to keep you glued to it. Mostly, it is a kick-back-your-shoes-and-enjoy fun ride". The News Minute also rated 3 out of 5 and wrote: "In an interesting plot that falters at places, especially in the characterisation of women, you catch present-day realities and the dangers of a star-fan relationship" and "Prithviraj and Suraj play the star-fan roles admirably well".
- "Prithviraj's Driving Licence launched". The New Indian Express. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- "Driving Licence". Amazon. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
- Shrijith, Sajin (21 December 2019). "'Driving Licence' review: A delectable, wholesome meta entertainer". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- Vetticad, Anna M. M. (22 December 2019). "Driving Licence movie review: Prithviraj is terrific in a captivating drama on pride and pettiness, fandom and fury". Firstpost. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- Ajith (21 December 2019). "Driving License movie review: An interesting ride from Prithvi-Suraj". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- Moviebuzz (21 December 2019). "Review : Driving Licence review: A fine journey that is engaging (2019)". Sify. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- R., Manoj Kumar (21 December 2019). "Driving Licence movie review: An engaging watch". The Indian Express. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- Antony, Deepa (21 December 2019). "Driving License Movie Review: A hilarious no-brainer". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- Cris (21 December 2019). "'Driving License' review: Prithviraj and Suraj play the star-fan roles admirably well". The News Minute. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- "Driving Licence". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 January 2020.