During a press meet in the run-up to Bhaskar Oru Rascal’s release, Arvind Swami said something intriguing. A journalist had asked him about his choice of roles and Arvind said that he likes doing what makes him feel like a fish out of water. I was reminded of what he said while watching Bhaskar Oru Rascal as this is a version of Arvind we are seeing after quite some time on screen. I was born in 1995 and Arvind took a break from acting in 2000. The films that I have managed to see, and revisit, had him as the urbane, young, ridiculously handsome man. So, you can imagine the image that comes to my mind when I hear his name. Maybe this was the image Arvind wanted to break with Bhaskar Oru Rascal. As the title suggests, Bhaskar is nothing like the Arvind that I was used to seeing. Bhaskar doesn’t have manners. He is rude, loud and has a temper that shoots up at the drop of a hat.
Watching Arvind Swami shed my mind of its prejudices — the only thing that I got out of the film. It also seemed like that was Bhaskar Oru Rascal’s sole objective. Arvind Swami gets quite a few action sequences and slow motions. In fact, he gets the mammoth of commercial stunts — his Kuruvi moment. But the film’s setting, story and characters fall flat, reducing Bhaskar Oru Rascal to a very, very few enjoyable moments that come far in between.
The film tries to explore the relationship two single parents have with their children. Both parents in the story have children who are on the opposite ends of the spectrum — while Bhaskar is a ‘rascal’, his son is polite and docile. While Anu wants to be problem-free, her daughter wants to face it head-on. For two primary school kids, the children do seem to ‘know’ a lot. I quite liked the fact that they were, for the most part, treated as adults. But Siddique does push it a tad too much at times. And to place these angles in an espionage story is a bit too hard to digest, even more so when it is riddled with plot holes.