Clean cinema, that too in the comedy genre, is a rarity in Sandalwood. Too often we see filmmakers blending double entendre jokes and offensive sequences to pass it off as comedy. But Mayabazar 2016 is here to make a difference. The movie is not only hilarious, but the story is entertaining too. Set in the backdrop of the 2016 demonetisation, Mayabazar is the comic relief that Sandalwood needs right now, after a series of boring films in the last two months.
Joseph (Achyut Kumar) is a sincere police officer who is known for his honesty among his seniors. So, during demonetisation, he is entrusted with one of the most important jobs – to track phone calls of the big fish trying to exchange demonetised currency. But, his wife Usha (Sudha Rani) is diagnosed with cancer and Joseph has to arrange a huge amount by hook or crook. He chooses the crook Kubera (Raj B Shetty).
Both hatch a plan to track rich men trying to exchange black money and succeed to some extent. Kubera, with a team of men from a theatre group, goes from one house to another posing as an I-T officer, conducts raids and steals black money. But Usha’s health pushes Joseph over the edge, so they decide to knock on the wrong door to pull off their biggest robbery. Carpenter Raji (Vasishta N Simha), who is in love with a rich girl (Chaitra Rao), joins the heist in the second half for his own reasons. Can too many cooks spoil the broth? Well, not always. In the case of Mayabazar, too many crooks create a very delectable treat that is best savoured with friends and family.
The movie takes off on a jolly note with Raj B Shetty as the thief keeping the audience hooked with his weird antics and dialogues. Achyut’s perfect planning, aided by Raj’s comic timing and Vasishta’s charm keep the audience glued to the screen for a good two hours.
The movie is not just a comedy thriller; it has a takeaway for everyone. Achyut Kumar’s helplessness and his lengthy dialogue about his unending love for his wife are sure to bring out some waterworks. Among the three leads, he stands out for his wonderful acting. Raj is his usual self, spouting quirky one-liners with perfect comic timing. Vasishta charms as a lover boy who is desperate to do anything to keep his girlfriend happy. Among the three, somehow Raj fails to bring any freshness as he sticks to his signature ‘smile when in trouble’ reaction throughout. Two other value additions include Prakash Raj as corrupt police officer ACP Ashok, who rules the second half with his villainous grin, and councillor Pataki Pandu, played by Sadhu Kokila. Sadhu with his comic rage is a revelation here. The perfect five ensure that there isn’t a single dull moment in the whole film.
Debutant director Radhakrishna Reddy’s attempt to serve clean comedy is heartening. For all the introduction scenes, there is an immediate backgrounder about each character. This new attempt is commendable. The director has brought in a certain freshness with a unique comic narration while also keeping the emotional connects intact. The film’s climax, however, lacks punch and leaves you wanting for more.
Made under Puneeth Rajkumar’s banner, PRK productions, Mayabazar, meaning a market of illusions, is entertaining as well funny. This is Puneeth’s second film as a producer after Kavaludaari, and hence there isn’t a single glitch in the making. The movie looks and feels rich in terms of production. Puneeth’s climax dance in the Loka mayabazaru song is a crowd-puller. The fast song in SP Balasubramanian’s voice brings a smile. Midhun Mukundan’s music is pleasing.
The movie banks heavily on comic tonic and the occasional familiar faces. It does a thorough job of entertaining the audience. The movie is all about money, money, money, honey! And is worth every penny.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.