When you look at how the movie Madhura Manohara Moham’s drama escalates hilariously in the second half, you tend to anticipate something incredibly refreshing at the end. Writers Mahesh Gopal and Jai Vishnu give you the impression that they will take a familiar-looking plot into something quirky and political about what women are supposed to be. But somewhere, I felt the climax tried to play things safe and ended up looking a bit vague about its central character. With humor consuming a large part of the movie’s third act, this under-two hours movie from Stephy Zaviour manages to be a pleasant and passable watch.
Manu and Meera are siblings, and their family resides in Pathanamthitta district. Their mother is a highly orthodox Nair woman, and Manu is the secretary of the local NSS wing. Manu was in love with the NSS wing President’s daughter Salabha. Since Salabha and Meera were the same age, Manu had to find a guy for Meera. Manu’s journey to find the groom for Meera and how that unfolds hilariously is what we witness in Madhura Manohara Moham.
I am someone who enjoyed watching the film Enkilum Chandrike in theaters, and I know that many people have not liked that movie. Just saying this because my liking for that kind of humor will be reflected in this review. The strikingly impressive thing about the film was its subtle political dig at the casteism prevalent in our society and how the stereotypical good girl idea is broken through the movie. The extent to which they have pushed the character of Meera is hilarious, and everyone inside the theater cracked up when Manu asked his mother whether she picked the wrong girl after delivery. The thing is, at that point, I started to expect the movie to be full of dark humor and almost unapologetic about the female perspective. But when they took the convenient and harmless path in the climax, even though I laughed, I felt they missed a chance to pull off something like a Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hei.
Rajisha Vijayan is excellent as Meera, and she just scores in the second half in those breakup sequences. The way she switches between those dual shades was really great, and some of the funny sequences would feel like sad scenes if they just changed the background score. I think Sharaf U Dheen has done some reinvention in his style of comedy, and the balance he finds between being realistic and eccentric is fun to watch. Bindu Panicker goes back to her stereotypical character as the mother, but since she is a pro in pulling off such characters, the performance was perfect. Aarsha Chandni Baiju, Althaf Salim, Biju Sopanam, Vijayaraghavan, Niranj, etc., are the other major names in the cast.
Costume designer turned director Stephy Zaviour opts for a very breezy treatment for her debut directorial. And that treatment works considering the tone of humor in the film. The comedy is not really overdone, and the possible cringe moments are diverted into funny bits. The writing’s sharp dark humor-driven political detour is very impressive, which takes this movie away from those generic comedy films built around marriages. But like I said, it doesn’t aspire to be a conversation starter, and one can argue why all movies should be debate initiators. It’s just that Madhura Manohara Moham somewhere teases you with that promise and then goes back to being a watch, laugh, and forget kind of entertainer.
Considering how they constructed one of the protagonists, Madhura Manohara Moham is a movie that almost feels like a spiritual spin-off of Mukundan Unni Associates. But that unapologetic approach Abhinav Sunder Nayak’s film had in exploring the main character is not there in Stephy’s film. Thus it ends up being that fun film that will make you laugh out loud but won’t make you sit and talk.
With humor consuming a large part of the movie's third act, this under-two hours movie from Stephy Zaviour manages to be a pleasant and passable watch.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended