When I saw the initial moments of the new Jayaram movie My Great Grandfather, I was petrified feeling that I am in for the sequel of Ulsaha Committee. But the Almighty was a little bit kind and decided to reduce the torture and gave me another version Achayans along with the old Jayaram cliché of a sacrificial hero. Except for that one funny scene where Dharmajan’s character told Jayaram about his daughter and her kid (not a spoiler for those who has seen the trailer), there is hardly anything here that can be considered as fresh in terms of humor.
Michael and Sivan are extremely close friends. But due to some misunderstandings in the past, this thick friendship went through some turbulence and it is now at a very rough phase and Sivan wants to ruin Michael’s life. Into this picture comes a girl named Sharon along with her 5-year-old kid, and she claims that she is the daughter of this 42-year-old Michael. Michael who was all set to marry a girl is now clueless about what to do next and the story of My Great Grandfather revolves around this particular relationship.
A few years back in almost all screenplays that dealt with a hero-centric family drama, we have seen that element of the hero going “I can explain” and does nothing and invites all the misunderstandings, only to make all those who accused him of being bad, apologize to him for the morality oriented sacrifice he did for the family. My Great Grandfather is actually just a repetition of that same old formula. The only possible variety one can claim here is the fact that a mainstream hero like Jayaram was willing to play the role of a 24-year-old girl’s father and a 5-year-old boy’s grandfather. Like I already mentioned, a lot of things in the first half will scare you, because the comedy there is extremely stupid. But this father angle helps the movie to improve its quality from utter nonsense to a typical cliché movie. There is a pile of sequences showing Michael trying to cover up this new revelation in his personal life and when almost all of the characters who accused Michael of being a bad character goes “I am the sorry aliya” in the climax, most of the drama created by the screenplay prior to that will seem like irrelevant.
Jayaram’s Michael is simply an amalgamation of his entire filmography. Almost all his classic items like the shock expression and the intense voice modulation is there and you won’t feel anything special about his performance. Baburaj, in the beginning, appears with a shoddy wig that gives a tough competition to the one Vinay Forrt wore in Thamaasha post interval scene. His performance is also very typical. Dharmajan was indeed a relief in this pointless story. Surabhi Santhosh was fine and this character isn’t that much of a challenge. Divya Pillai is there mainly for a song. Rajamani is the caricature-like villain of the movie. Vijaya Raghavan, Mallika Sukumaran, Ramesh Pisharody, Salim Kumar, Sunil Sukhada, etc. are the other major names here along with an “action” cameo by Unni Muscle Mukundan.
Aneesh Anwar who started off his career with a truly impressive Zackariyayude Garbhinikal is moving closer to mediocrity with each film and I am saying this with a heavy heart. Shani Khader’s writing is extremely lackluster and more importantly outdated. The first half has too many broad strokes in the narrative and subtlety has no relationship with this movie and its making. Actor Baiju Santhosh has performed in a sequence in this movie and that entire episode is extremely annoying. The characters in that sequence behave like real morons and the writer and director want us to believe that all that is funny. When the climax twist got revealed at one point, the audience started leaving the hall and I guess that explains the quality of the packaging. The cinematography is pretty average and the fights were visualized and edited terribly. Even the usually pleasing music department in an Aneesh Anwar film also delivered a disappointing output.
On a comparative scale, I would say My Great Grandfather is not as bad as Ulsaha Committee or Sathya. But it is competing with something like an Achayans. If any of the above-mentioned films belong to your list of watchable movies, then My Great Grandfather will not give you much of a headache.
Except for that one funny scene where Dharmajan’s character told Jayaram about his daughter and her kid, there is hardly anything here that can be considered as fresh in terms of humor.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended