The new movie Theeppori Benny is written and directed by Raajesh and Joji Thomas. Joji Thomas is the same man who debuted as a scriptwriter with the movie Vellimoonga. The basic idea of the movie Theeppori Benny feels like a scrapped version of Vellimoonga that Jibu Jacob may have rejected due to familiarity. From the setting to even the characters reminding you of the Biju Menon starrer, Theeppori Benny is somewhat a Jis Joy version of Vellimoonga with all the goodness and kindness trying to salvage the lack of novelty in the writing.
Benny, our title protagonist, is the son of a communist leader called Chettayi. The selfless life of Chettayi has not gone well with Benny as he considers what Chettayi did by selling the land to help others, resulted in him losing generational wealth. What we see in Theeppori Benny is Benny’s decision to use the political career that he hated for a better living and how that turns out.
Almost at the very beginning of the movie, we can see the house we saw in Vellimoonga. For some reason, it gives you a psychological cue about the movie’s texture. Joji Thomas and Raajesh are trying to tap into the same space. But the Biju Menon starrer was a success mainly because it had a connected script that went from one scene to another with the support of a purpose. The fire dance thing that we see in the movie’s teaser is one chapter in the film where we really enjoy the humor in the writing. But it is a stranded episode in the film that is in doubt about how to shape itself. After establishing the hero’s decision to take a detour, the movie slips into a very melodramatic space, which is unsettling considering the witty possibilities.
Arjun Ashokan, as the Beta Mamachan, Benny, is okay, and his typical style works in favor of the movie. There is a level of selfishness in Benny’s behavior that makes him not so likable. Arjun kept that character in that space where you will analyze Benny only comically. Jagadish, as the father of the hero, gets to do this mature role of a communist with minimal comical shade. And his experience definitely helps the movie in making those sentimental scenes look convincing. Minnal Murali fame Femina George is the leading lady here. While the performance had the confidence the makers wanted in the character, the dialogue delivery is a bit wobbly in some areas. Shaju Sreedhar and Muhammed Rafi are the comic reliefs of the film. TG Ravi, Nisha Sarang, Aswathy Sreekanth, Srikanth Murali, and Santhosh Keezhattoor are the other major names in the star cast.
Even as a one-liner concept, this idea from Raajesh and Joji is only an okay concept that wants to tap into the success of movies set against the backdrop of villages. Vellimoonga was a movie that had no inhibition in portraying Mamachan as a crooked man who would do anything to get what he wanted. But in Theeppori Benny, after hinting that Benny is very much a Mamachan in the making, the movie suddenly changes its intent and makes him humane and sentimental. Benny’s empathetic shift toward his father happens quite abruptly. When he emotionally says he has realized what his father has earned through selfless politics, it is tough for us to feel that sentiment because of the hurried nature of the narrative.
The second movie, written by Joji Thomas, Johny Johny Yes Appa, was a mediocre film, but it was never dull. The same can be said about Theeppori Benny as well. With its cliched yet witty dialogue humor, this comedy entertainer manages to be a non-annoying movie. But there is hardly anything fresh or memorable in the film to make us revisit the movie. If you had felt Nadikalil Sundari Yamuna was a fair enough entertainer, then Theeppori Benny might feel like a passable entertainer, as the latter has a better structure than the Dhyan Sreenivasan starrer.
With its cliched yet witty dialogue humor, this comedy entertainer manages to be a non-annoying movie. But there is hardly anything fresh or memorable in the film to make us revisit the movie.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended