International Business Times India rating: 3
The association of Rosshan Andrrews-Bobby-Sanjay has always, except once, delivered successful movies in Malayalam, with the audience now trusting the trio to come up with good entertainers. Their latest release, "School Bus," is no different as the movie falls under the category of a good film despite having a predictable plot.
"School Bus" goes through the incidents that happen in the life of siblings Ajoy (Akash Muraleedharan) and Anju (Angelina Rosshan), who study at Trinity International School in Kochi. Their parents, Joseph (Jayasurya) and Aparna (Aparna Gopinath), find less time to interact with the kids as they are busy with their work and family issues.
A small mischief planned by Ajoy and his friends in school becomes a serious issue. Fearing the after-effects and scolding from his parents, Ajoy elopes from his home and school with a dream of enjoying his life free from exams and tensions. His parents' struggles to get him back with the help of a police officer (Kunchacko Boban) and forest officials is narrated in the second half of the movie.
The film subtly gives a few tips to parents on the need of having good communication with kids so that the young ones think of their father and mother as the first people to approach when they are in trouble.
The performances by debutants Akash and Angelina, who take the movie on their shoulders, is the driving force of the film. The son of cinematographer CK Muraleedharan and the daughter of Rosshan Andrrews are sure to impress the audience. Jayasurya, as a strict father, has yet again proved he can handle any role with ease, while Aparna does an appreciable job as a 34-year-old mother. Kunchacko Boban appears only in the second half of the film, as an young inspector who is being entrusted with the case of the missing Ajoy. Boban has done a decent job as a person who is not experienced in handling such cases. Minon's performance as a young boy who is ready to take up adventures, needs a special mention. Abhija Sivakala, Nandhu, Vijaykumar and Sudheer Karamana have also done their parts well in the film.
The second half of "School Bus" is a visual treat laid out by cinematographer CK Muraleedharan, who has captured the beauty of a dense forest. The cinematography gets a thumbs-up only in the second half. The background score by Gopi Sunder is okay. However, there aren't any songs in the film besides the title song.
The second half of the film, set in a dense forest, becomes a little dramatic with a serious tone taking away the innocence felt in the first half. The graphics used in the scenes set in the forest could have been improved. Compared to the many previous movies of Bobby and Sanjay, "School Bus" lacked a strong script, leaving the audience with a feeling that they could have worked more on it.
Verdict: You won't regret if you get inside this school bus with a kid's mind. The message delivered on parenting makes it worth a watch if you enter the theatre with less expectations. Enjoy this movie, which has some thrilling moments, for two hours.