A problematic and boring horror-comedy – The New Indian Express
Express press service
Every time I go to the theater to see a comedy, I think of the actor Santhanam who once said, “If we had to make people laugh without offending anyone, our only choice is to tickle them”. When faced with an offensive comedy, you have two choices. You can either try to have fun or get angry and speak out against the unacceptable portrayal. I was inclined to do the first, but soon after the movie started, all I could do was the second.
In this remake of the Malayalam film, Adi Kapyare Kootamani, some nasty new ideas are introduced, under the guise of comedy. For example, the ghost has an ominous backstory in which she ends her life due to the rejections she faces due to her dark complexion. This film oddly thinks it deserves to be treated as humor. There is a running gag made of people seeing his face.
At a time of growing awareness of how body shaming and color shaming can cause mental health issues, we have this film in which a woman becomes a ghost because she doesn’t respect not conventional beauty standards. Although it is mentioned several times that the setting is a temporary hostel, it seemed to be anything but. The place, in fact, looks suspiciously like an asylum.
Even leaving aside the problematic portrayal, there’s little in this film that leans heavily on double meanings referencing sex. However, the U/A certification means the film doesn’t really let loose in those spaces. And then there’s Bobo Shashi’s overwhelming and suggestive background score that kills the rare decent joke.
It’s surprising to see the awe-inspiring Ashok Selvan and Priya Bhavani Shankar operating in power-saving mode, offering quite little to this underwhelming narrative. Although Nassar and Munishkanth’s slapstick performances sometimes make us smile, the jarring work of the rest of the cast brings it down. Several times in the film, Nassar’s Father Kuriakose unsuccessfully asks his students to be disciplined and quiet. Kuriakose could have been made happy by a visit to the theater in which I saw this comedy. There was a stunning silence throughout.
Director: Sumanth Radhakrishnan
With: Ashok Selvan, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Sathish, Nassar, Munishkanth