Saturday, March 18, 2017

അലമാര (Alamaara) (2017)

Director: Midhun Manuel Thomas
Writers: John Manthrickal, Mahesh Gopal
DOP: Satheesh Kurup
Cast: Sunny Wayne, Aditi Ravi, Renji Panicker, Aju Varghese, Seema G. Nair
Language: Malayalam

Midhun Manuel Thomas' third feature film, Alamaara, revolves around a newly married couple and their marital problems encapsulated by the troubles an Alamaara, gifted by the girl's parents, would bring. Even before the marriage, the parents from both camps are at odds with each other and small problems snowballs in a comedic fashion.

I loved MMT's first film as a director, Aadu ,
which has cult status now among Malayalee audience. It didn't do well at box office and his followup to it, Ann Maria, did do well even as it was not nearly as good as the former. It was a good one-time watch and so is the case with Alamaara. It has its comedic moments and little bit of wackiness, but no way close to Aadu. Highlight of the film is the narration by Salim Kumar as the Alamaara itself. His tone and delivery is so good that you're reminded of the old days. The fact that his health has been quite poor and looks so thin these days might have added some nostalgia value to this voice only performance.

First half of the film is paced quite well but you do feel quite a lag in the second half. It is bit of a hit and miss when it comes to its comedy bits as well as performances. Manikandan, Kamattipaadam fame, is cast as Sunny Wayne's maternal uncle and is a spoof of Kerala's garden variety Sanghis who do like a bit of beef with lots of onion. Sunny Wayne works well as the aloof protagonist but does struggle during the scenes where he has to bring some intensity. Aditi Ravi, debutant leading lady, is alright in her role but the recent spate of real life looking heroines in Malayalam cinema have made appearances of traditional movie star like looking ones a bit disconcerting.

Overall it is just a decent one-time watch but you expect much better from MMT. His lack of involvement in the writing process is reflected in the output. This feels like a quick project that he needed to finish off before putting the shift in for the eagerly anticipated sequel to Aadu. I had seen it yesterday morning (First day, first show) but delayed in writing the review coz I was as lazy as Midhun was while he made this movie.

Rating: 2.5/5