Bash Mohammed’s Lukka Chuppi is one movie that is a personal favorite for me. And there was genuine excitement around his new project, Ennalum Ente Aliya, as he has blended humor and emotions flawlessly in the past. Ennalum Ente Aliya starts off in a seemingly interesting way, but somewhere around the midway, we can sense the delicate nature of the plot. And it becomes a film that depends too much on the laughter gags to cover up its efforts to look like a standard-length feature film.
Balakrishnan, aka Balu, is an insurance agent in Dubai, and he lives with his wife there. The couple has been married for 8 years, and they are yet to have a child. What we see in Ennalum Ente Aliya are the events that happen in their house after the arrival of Balu’s brother-in-law, when a couple, Kabeer and Sulfi, comes to Balu’s house saying his brother-in-law is in a relationship with their daughter.
Sidhique is an actor whose style of humor is very subtle, and even the most caricature-like reactions look very natural when he portrays them. I think this ability of actor Sidhique has helped the film Ennalum Ente Aliya enormously in covering up its cluelessness. Good movies will add layers to a core concept, and bad films will stuff tracks around the core concept. The reason why Ennalum Ente Aliya feels stretched out is because of the way it is forcefully squeezing in sequences. There is a sequence in the second half of the movie where Kareem loses it after having a few pegs. As a chopped-off sequence, this one might look hilarious, considering the performances. But that whole sequence seemed very irrelevant to the central plot.
The screenplay, which was co-written by Bash Mohammed, doesn’t look tight. Whenever they face writer’s block, they make characters behave stupidly to create conflicts. The character of Sulfi is understandable in the beginning portions. But when they are making her too much of an Appukkuttan of the Harihar Nagar universe, it feels like a desperate attempt to find some humor in a dried-out plot. Many of the issues they have shown at the movie’s beginning are conveniently forgotten as the film drifts to a different tone and zone altogether. And in a post The Great Indian Kitchen cinematic climate, many of the jokes in this film look very problematic. Looking at how they have placed the interval block and how the movie is shot in minimal locations, I assume it was a film they designed for an OTT release.
Sidhique is the saving grace of the film as his portrayal of Kareem never went over the top when it had all the chance to become something like that. Suraj Venjaramood as Balu was fine in that non-challenging character. Lena, as Sulfi, the controlling orthodox wife, isn’t getting much support from her writers, and thus after a point, Sulfi enters that insufferable zone for all of us. Gayathri Arun’s character has importance in the story, but there is nothing much here for her to do. Josekutty Jacob and Amritha Menon are the other two major names in the minimal cast of the film.
Ennalum Ente Aliya is an attempt to explore situational humor. But the writing of this movie is not able to transport this short film-worthy theme to feature film-length content. And hence beyond the instant laughter you get, thanks to the performers, there is nothing much there in the film to make it memorable or even make us revisit it.
Beyond the instant laughter you get, thanks to the performers, there is nothing much there in the film to make it memorable or even make us revisit it.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended