There is an acceptance issue for a genre like a stoner comedy, especially in Malayalam as there are very few movies made in that genre. Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi directed by debutant Jenith Kachappilly is an interesting absurd stoner comedy. If you are someone who doesn’t have any issue with the existence of the genre of Kili Poyi and you love watching a little bit of wacky stuff like Biju Menon’s Padayottam or something like a double barrel, then I would say you can give Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi a shot. There is nothing spectacularly unique about this movie. But I found the entertainment it provided clutter-free.
Umman, Balu, Addu, and Namboothiri are four friends who are working in the corporate sector. Rony who was a childhood friend of Umman, Balu and Addu joined the same company at one point. Barring Namboothiri, everyone else had that element of mischief in their nature. The gang decides to have a small party at Namboothiri’s rented house to celebrate his birthday. But the celebrations went out of hand when Marijuana got introduced to the party and the movie is about the series of hilarious incidents happening in that house during that one night.
Absurd comedy is a very tricky genre. If you can’t connect with the movie, the entire movie will look absurd to you. And if you manage to get that connect it will be a hilarious experience for you. I personally enjoyed watching the absurdity which was there in the treatment. What Jenith did successfully was pulling us inside that world he wants to create. There is a squirrel reference in the beginning that eventually becomes a metaphor for the whole story. And even though it had all the scope to overdo every scene, I felt the movie understood where to stop. The whole phone conversation between Baiju and Althaf was extremely hilarious and almost everyone along with whom I saw the film was laughing out loud for those bits.
The stoner element in the story has given the scope for the makers to add those tiny quirks that one can’t say as typical comedy ingredients. The story is silly and I think it is a story where you want things to be on the silly side. Nobody is looking for logic when they are watching a movie like Boeing Boeing. I am not making a direct comparison with the Priyadarshan film here. I am talking about that nonsensical fun this movie sort of provides with its slim plot. Almost 75% of this movie is shot in and around one house and I personally am a sucker for such movies. The dialogue humor isn’t really typical, largely because of the backdrop. Jenith uses the liberty of the genre to create a spoof of Mahabharath. A lot of things you see in the movie may feel like an absurd inclusion and I would look at it as the director making the most of the stoned condition. Even if someone criticizes the randomness of the events in the movie, there is that Dhoni-Sachin debate which clearly shows why things are so messed up.
Krishnashankar as Rony is in his usual style and the fraud character was comfortable in his hands. Siju Wilson is fine and Shabareesh Varma is a bit animated. Shiyas as Addu was an interesting casting. And Althaf Salim scored in the second half, especially in his scenes with actor Baiju on the other side. Sethu Lakshmi did her part neatly. Baiju, Siddhartha Siva and Basil Joseph are the other major names here.
Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi may not be flawless. But there is an effort to stay true to the genre. As I mentioned in the beginning, if you were someone who wanted Kili Poyi to be a little funnier and if you have enjoyed movies like Padayottam, you will find Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi as an enjoyable harmless silly entertainer.
If you are someone who wanted Kili Poyi to be a little funnier and if you have enjoyed movies like Padayottam, you will find Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi as an enjoyable harmless silly entertainer.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended