When Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval started off with Android Kunjappan in the backdrop of Northern Kerala, the slang and the reaction comedy it offered was something new for the audience. Even his next theatrical release, Nna Thaan Case Kodu, also had a similar milieu and was a success because of the new setup and compelling script. Even if you look at something like Kanakam Kamini Kalaham, Ratheesh has followed a style of humor that works primarily because of its novel style. Coming to Madanolsavam, directed by debutant Sudheesh Gopinath and scripted by Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, somewhere you sense the need for reinvention in this particular style of humor. Like the trailer promised, the film is a hilarious ride. But in totality, it lacks the punch.
The movie is set around Madanan, a young man who has the business of selling colored chicks. At one point, a widow named Alice comes into Madanan’s life. Just when they are about to begin a life together, a distant uncle comes with a financial opportunity for Madanan. BDF candidate Madanan Manjakkaran had a good chance of winning the election for the first time. The opposition party decided to use our hero Madanan as a decoy to scatter the vote share. We see how Madanan’s life changed after that in Sudheesh Gopinath’s Madanolsavam.
The movies from the Karukutty gang have not been working off late because of the uninventive repetition of the success formula. I am not saying Madanolsavam is a film that doesn’t work entirely. It has the signature minimalistic Ratheesh Balakrishnan humor, a satiric angle in the tale, and it is a bit eccentric in creating certain characters. But somewhere, you, as a viewer, can predict the style of humor. I feel that somewhere reduces the number of laugh-out-loud moments in a movie designed with too many laughter moments.
Madanolsavam is based on a short story by E Santhosh Kumar. It is evident that many tweaks have been made to the script according to contemporary politics. In a way, I would say Madanolsavam is a collage of Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval’s filmography. The beginning portions have the texture of Android Kunjappan. When the Namboothiri goons enter the story, and you see them deal with greedy politicians, the tone somewhere reminds you of KKK. And the movie’s final act has the tonality of Nna Thaan Case Kodu. While the writing is able to keep you occupied in the developments, there are scattered moments here and there that don’t really evoke much laughter. Even though that climax bit is funny, it was somewhat predictable, and the comical high one would expect in such a moment wasn’t there.
Suraj Venjaramood transforms into a naive Madanan who gradually learns to be wise in life. The minimal reactions and the silences make his performance a memorable one. Rajesh Madhavan and Ranji Kankol as the Namboothiri kidnappers were hilarious. Those characters and their scenes are crucial in keeping this film in that funny space. Bhama Arun, as Alice, delivered a convincing performance. Chandrika Madikkayi as the aunt and PP Kunhikrishnan as Chindaleppan were fun to watch. Imagining Babu Antony as Madanan Manjakkaran was definitely something unique. But the scope to perform for him was minimal. Rakesh Ushar, Swathi Das Prabhu, Rajesh Azhikkoden, along with Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval are the other major names in the cast.
Madanolsavam is designed to be a fun entertainer with something to laugh at every nook and corner. But because of the familiarity of the style in which the humor unfolds, some don’t really work. And the movie somewhere has a shortage of signature moments of genuine humor. Madanolsavam is not a dragged comedy. But the finesse you expect seeing the writer’s name and the movie’s trailer was slightly missing from the end product.
The finesse you expect seeing the writer's name and the movie's trailer was slightly missing from the end product.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended