Sreejith Vijayan’s Kuttanadan Marpappa is founded on the assumption that the audience who flock to theaters during the summer vacation wouldn’t want anything serious. Or even anything sane. So, the film is loud, bright and colorful, like a kindergarten comic book; quick-paced so that the audience wouldn’t feel the ‘lag’. The story is a mosaic of bits and pieces of plots from successful mass entertainers, starring several comedians so that it can be promoted as a comedy.
Kuttanadan Marpappa is an insufferable movie experience that tries to make up for its wafer-thin characters, poor humor, substandard writing, and scenes that flatter the male ego. It uses the plot trope that is currently in vogue – a beautiful, educated and unattainable woman who walks out of a relationship. And, it is executed in the most distasteful manner, without sensitivity or good humour.
The film revolves around a quintessential loser with a handsome face, John Paul (Kunchakko Boban) who works as a lowly photographer in Kuttanad. He is, for some unintelligible reason, nicknamed Marpappa (The Pope). He lives with his widowed mother, Mary (Shanthi Krishna), an unreasonably happy woman who talks about her late husband in the same tone as talking about a cat. There are little details about John’s talents as a photographer or his credentials as an individual worth paying attention to. But, all we get to know is that he has a hopelessly romantic heart. He falls in love with several women who take him for a ride. All affairs begin with him staring at and stalking the woman and photographing her from behind trees, and end with her dumping him for a man with a stable job. His circle of close friends push him into deeper misery by encouraging his dangerous romantic instincts. In one of the scenes, John bumps into one of his former girlfriends who slyly tells him that she wouldn’t have dumped him when they were teens if she knew he would be extremely good-looking as an adult. John responds with a victorious grin, and is further pleased when the woman’s husband, a rich man with a bald head, appears. The film unfolds over the wedding of John’s former girlfriend Jessy (Aditi Ravi) whose beau is an insanely rich, but uncouth NRI (Ramesh Pisharody). John and Jessy had dreamed of a life together. However, she betrayed his trust. The rest of the film is about how John, with the help of his mother and friends, screws her over on behalf of all the hapless young men who were betrayed in love by monstrous women.
Evidently, Sreejith’s film has nothing new to say. It has a terrible sense of humor, and even poorer sensitivity when it comes to matters such as gender. It infantilizes adults, shows them indulging in buffoonery even when the bank is taking over their home for failing to repay the loan, and passes it off as comedy. The scene where the heroine confesses her love for the hero is followed by a cheesy dance number that involves a lot of jumping around and a giant airplane parked by the side of a paddy field.
Kunchakko Boban, an actor whose earnest performances in Take Off and Ramante Eden Thottam were a delight to watch, messes up here, in a poorly defined role that pays an unflattering tribute to the 90s and early 2000s when Malayalam cinema was at its lowest phase. He mistakes smugness for heroism, and in comic scenes, is a glaring misfit. The actor who saves the film from becoming an intolerable experience is Shanthi Krishna, who has a natural talent in handling comedy and melodrama with equal grace.
Kuttanadan Marpappa, like star-studded films such as Masterpiece and Velipaadinte Pusthakam, is a pointless and insincere movie that makes a lot of noise without any substantial content.
The Kuttanadan Marpaapa 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.