A young aspiring actor walks into the shooting location of Lal Jr’s Honey Bee 2. He claims to be an acting graduate from a prestigious film school, but displays no talent whatsoever. He goes into the kitchen of the shooting unit, and topples a mountain of steel vessels. An assistant director casts him in a passing shot, but he foils the entire day of shoot. He falls in love with a make-up assistant, but shows no guts to open up to her about it. He is gullible, naive and boring.
It’s around him, Honey Bee 2.5 is woven. You need not look around to see what is about this film that is getting on your nerves. If the patchy characterisation and an outrageously bad script was what ruined Honey Bee 2, this film has a dull lead character played by a mediocre actor whose film entry can be explained only by the word nepotism.
Directed by Shyju Anthikad, Honey Bee 2.5 is a meta-film shot entirely on the sets of Honey Bee 2, which released in March this year, and bit the dust at the box-office. There are actors like Baburaj, Asi Ali, Bhavana, Balu Varghese, Lal and Sreenivasan playing themselves. Their off-screen camaraderie appears natural, and is fun to watch. Baburaj cracks a dirty joke, and Asif Ali teases him, “Shut up, don’t say such things in the presence of a woman (Bhavana),” and he replies, “Darn! I keep forgetting that she is a woman!” It’s interesting to see these co-actors treating her as a cool friend with whom they can hang out, and nothing else. Especially at a time when Malayalam cinema is facing severe backlash for being misogynistic and anti-women.
Askar Ali, brother of Asif Ali, plays Vishnu, whose only ambition in life is to make it big in cinema as a lead actor. His widowed mother and sister back him unconditionally, while his grandfather, a Kathakali enthusiast, tells him on his face that he is a good-for-nothing. Grandpa might have a point there. Vishnu’s friends, two over-enthusiastic pompous fools, launch a fan association for him even before he gets cast in his first film. Their jokes are just not funny. Vishnu is told that the casting for Honey Bee 2 is done and fixed already, but he refuses to leave the sets. He stays there, doing menial jobs and making friends. Finally, Lal and Lal Jr casts him in a pivotal role because they are touched by the young man’s sincerity, innocence and relentless endeavour. No points for guessing that Vishnu messes it up too. Because that is where his talents lie.
Honey Bee 2.5 is a movie sans any charm. The blooper reel of Honey Bee franchise would be a more engaging watch than this film which is devoid of anything new or substantial. Lijamol who plays the female lead, Kanmani, has delivered an impressive performance, but there is only so much that a female lead can do in a movie as trivial as this. However, in all fairness, Honey Bee 2.5 is not as appalling as Honey Bee 2, which was a mishmash of bad adult comedy and soulless relationship tracks. Going by how the last two Honey Bee ventures have fared, it is time they brought down the shutters on this franchise.
The Honey Bee 2.5 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.