Salaam Venky Movie Review: Kajol, Vishal Jethwa steal the show in emotionally charged drama

Salaam Venky Movie Review: Kajol and Vishal Jethwa's performances as mother and son duo are the highlights of this deeply emotional drama which touches on the sensitive topic of euthanasia and organ donation.

Devasheesh Pandey Devasheesh Pandey Updated on: December 09, 2022 10:00 IST
Salaam Venky movie
Salaam Venky movie stars Kajol and Vishal JethwaPhoto:INDIA TV
  • Movie Name:Salaam Venky
  • Critics Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Release Date: DEC 9, 2022
  • Director: Revathy
  • Genre: Drama

Salaam Venky Movie Review: Kajol and Vishal Jethwa's Bollywood drama sets the tone right for an emotionally charged tale from the word go. And to its advantage, it does not let go of the momentum that is built early on. From the start, the viewer is made aware of the path the film is headed towards and that it won't be a happy ending of the conventional sort. But Salaam Venky builds up the expectations, turns them around, and treats us with a pleasant climax. Apart from its into-the-face dramatic and tear-jerking moments, it also gives us plenty of reasons to smile about. The movie is not on a one-way track to drain the viewers of all emotions but tempers the journey with light-hearted moments and holds our hand through an optimistic ending.   

The storyline deals with the sensitive issue of euthanasia and organ donation. The makers have to be credited for picking an off-beat subject. The performances of the lead and the supporting cast make it a comforting watch. They invite us into their world, make us empathetic to their cause and captivate us with their mesmerising acts. Revathy shows her class as a director in picking the right subject, the pitch-perfect cast and then extracts the best from each one of them. In the high moments of the movie, you won't be able to hold back your tears.

Venky (Vishal Jethwa) is drifting towards his death with each breath. He is suffering from a rare degenerative disease and his end is certain. He knows and accepts his fate and demands that he be euthanised so that his organs can be harvested. However, his mother Sujata (Kajol) will stand by his suffering but won't allow him to die. While the first half of the movie deals with the mother-son conflict and their opposing views on life and medicine, the second half brings them together and pitches the duo against the system. Salaam Venky knows that it has an emotionally heavy-duty topic at hand. It does justice to it with sensitive treatment.

The movie sets off at a slow pace and builds the mood. Revathy knows that in order to invest in her story, the audience will need to relate to the characters and their world first. Thus, she uses only a few locations and lets her actors do their job. In fact, the entire film has a seemingly low production budget because the locations are just a handful. The viewers get immersed in the struggles of a terminally ill patient and the deep turmoil the mother and the family are in while they fulfill Venky's last wish of euthanasia. 

There is plenty of family drama in the first half. The second half shifts the tone and presents a view on the right to die. The action gets centered on a media house telling Venky's story to the world and the courtroom which will decide his fate. Revathy picks a side and it is apparent in the way the narrative moulds itself in the later stage. For the movie to make an impression, picking a moral high ground was needed and the makers own up to the occasion.

Kajol is a class act in the movie. Her performance is not dialogue driven. A lot of it is said through her expressions. Vishal Jethwa follows in the footsteps of the seasoned actress and takes a leaf from her notebook. The young actor makes a mark with his restrained and emotive display, especially in the second half. Venky's character presented a lot of potential and Vishal stepped up to the occasion. He is splendid in the movie and one of the major reasons the film keeps reeling you in.    

Salaam Venky presents a deeply humane subject. It should be enjoyed with your near and dear ones.