If you are a sucker for wacky unapologetic stuff, then Mukundan Unni Associates from debutant Abhinav Sunder Nayak is a dark comedy that will surely work for you. What is unique about this film is the way it has designed its central protagonist. He is outright evil, and the movie embraces his philosophy and narrates the story entirely from his perspective, almost making the viewer feel guilty for laughing at some of the things happening on screen. With Vineeth Sreenivasan appearing in a character that is not at all in his zone, Mukundan Unni Associates leaves a good impression of trying to deliver something new.
Adv. Mukundan Unni is a struggling lawyer who was working as a junior to a reputed advocate. His over-smartness at one point gets him fired from the job, and he decides to practice on his own. During one hospital visit for his mother’s checkup, Mukundan Unni realizes the financial scope for insurance settlement cases. Unni, who had this failed plan of becoming successful before the age of 30, decided to latch on to this risky yet quick way of money making. The roadblocks ahead of him and how he tackles them are what we see in Mukundan Unni Associates.
When the end credits role, we can see the director’s name credited with “voice-over script.” Suppose you remove that voice-over from the movie and try a different background score and edit pattern. In that case, Mukundan Unni Associates can become an entirely different movie that perhaps shows the realization of a selfish lawyer. But the beauty or I should rather say the fun side of Mukundan Unni Associates, is the way it is unapologetic about staying with its borderline psychopath character. Since we are very much used to this good hero stereotype, Abhinav’s decision to keep him like that till the end feels really fresh.
Apart from the character he played in Chappa Kurishu, almost all the characters played by Vineeth Sreenivasan fit into a particular category. But the character of Mukundan Unni was a challenge as the mannerism could have easily made the performance look very artificial or caricature-like. But Vineeth controls his performance, and it helps the movie from slipping into that illogical zone. Average Ambili fame Arsha Baiju gets a character that is diametrically opposite to Ambili, and she was fun to watch as the equal partner of the wicked lawyer. Suraj Venjaramood goes back to his humorous shade with Mukundan Unni Associates. Jagadeesh, Sudhy Koppa, Tanvi Ram, George Kora, Manikandan Pattambi, Riya Saira, etc., are the other memorable performances in the elaborate star cast.
From aspect ratios to those voice-overs, Abhinav is very clear about how he wants to present the movie. The attention to detail one can see even on the visual representation of a WhatsApp audio is really appreciable. The only issue I had with the film is the lack of tightness one can feel in the third act, as there isn’t a precise central conflict in the movie. But by pushing the character to a darker space, Abhinav somehow distracts the audience using the fresh stuff he catered. The cinematography doesn’t go for any kind of money shots, and a large chunk of it has these static frames. And for a change, there were no Thank you cards. The title came and went so fast that nobody could click it and post it as an insta story (bonus marks for that alone!)
Mukundan Unni Associates definitely belong to the “not everyone’s cup of tea” category. But if it is your cup of tea, then it is “the” tea. Mukundan Unni Associates explores those insensitive self-centered people we all see in our lives and wonders how they can be like this? And thankfully, for a change, the movie has no plans to fix them.
Mukundan Unni Associates definitely belong to the "not everyone's cup of tea" category. But if it is your cup of tea, then it is "the" tea.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended