A few years back there was a time where Sathyan Anthikkadu was making these repetitive preachy movies like Rasathanthram, Innathe Chinthavishayam etc that will have a hero giving moral science class to a group of people. If you are someone who feels that those movies are good because it had a relevant message, then I would say you may not dislike the new Mohanlal movie Ittymaani Made in China. I am saying this because Ittymaani is a predictable silly preach that will work for people who watch movies only during festival seasons and are adamant that a movie should have a spoon-fed message. The only difference a Sathyan Anthikkadu would have brought into this movie is perhaps the omission of some sick jackfruit, old model car reference jokes.
Ittymaani is a businessman from Kunnamkulam who sells duplicate stuff. He was born in China and thus he knows the Chinese language. He is a bachelor and he is still getting various proposals. Most of his marriage proposals get rejected due to his habit of asking for a commission. His life takes a detour when he decides to help his widow neighbor. What’s that decision he took and how he wants to go with that decision is the story of Ittymaani Made In China.
SPOILER ALERT! I may spill out some of the story elements in the review as it will be difficult to put a review without giving a proper reason. After watching the film, my first question was that, why this movie was given that Chinese link? Is there anything in the China angle in the story that gave the movie any sort of advantage? The answer was no. They have even shot an entire song sequence in China. The focus of the movie has nothing to do with the past of Ittymaani. What Jibi and Joju want to communicate is the message that kids should take care of their parents. The only difference here from the usual stories that we have seen in the silver screen is that they have taken a move that may look like a progressive/unconventional step. But Ittymaani, the movie doesn’t have the guts to be a bold comedy. After showing a surprising turn of things, it decides to create kinky jokes out of it. Mohanlal almost becomes a Tamil hero who has aspirations to contest in the next election; because even in a closed room conversation he is saying that I am doing this for all the mothers in the world who are left alone by their irresponsible kids. What Ittymaani does to make the kids aware of their responsibilities is visible from a distance. The only thing that makes it look nice on-screen are the counter dialogue humor, which to be honest one won’t remember once they step out of the theater.
Newcomers Jibi and Joju are not conscious of cinematic nuances or subtle presentation. Their script is an amalgamation of skit jokes that works mainly due to the kind of actors they got to perform those roles. At the end of the movie, I really don’t see any purpose to the priest character played by Siddique. But the way he has performed has made me laugh out loud. The movie begins with a shot of kids wearing masks of cricketers playing cricket and one of them hits a six that misses an ambulance driven by Aju Varghese. Don’t you need some sort of purpose to construct such a scene? The scene kind of gives us an idea of how clueless the writers are about adding layers to this story. Their formula to make a movie is, add a lot of parallel comedy tracks, introduce so many characters and in the end make the hero say a long dialogue that will make the viewer feel that there is a strong and relevant message in the film. Shaji Kumar’s cinematography was nice. The music by 4 Musics isn’t particularly attractive.
On the acting side, Mohanlal is in that comedy zone in which he is quite comfortable. His mannerisms are what that works here. Radhika Sarathkumar plays an important character here and the level of drama in her performance was a bit old school. There was warm and likable chemistry between KPAC Lalitha and Mohanlal. As I said, even though his character wasn’t adding anything to the story of the movie, the performance of Siddique was fabulous. Sijoy Varghese, Vinu Mohan, Sawsika, Kailash etc play the typical irresponsible busy kids. Aju Varghese, Dharmajan, Hareesh Kanaran etc play the comic reliefs. Honey Rose is there so that the movie can have a conventionally good looking heroine for 2-3 scenes.
There is a song named Kunjade Ninte Manassil from this movie that is available on YouTube. In case if you want to know whether the movie will work for you, just watch that song. If you feel that the goal post slapstick comedy and the “thick friends” jokes are hilarious, just ignore this review and go for the movie.
If you feel that the goal post slapstick comedy and the “thick friends” joke from the song Kunjade Ninte Manassil are hilarious, just ignore this review and go for the movie.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended