‘Mr and Mrs Rowdy’ review: Kalidas Jayaram’s comic caper is not so entertaining

Even as the film, directed by Jeethu Joseph, avoids a predictable storyline, it doesn’t offer anything much to hold your interest.
‘Mr and Mrs Rowdy’ review: Kalidas Jayaram’s comic caper is not so entertaining
‘Mr and Mrs Rowdy’ review: Kalidas Jayaram’s comic caper is not so entertaining
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The title might remind you vaguely of Vijay Sethupathy and Nayanthara’s 2015 film Naanum Rowdy Dhaan. But the trailer would have cleared all such doubts. This is, you think, about a young man and a young woman, who are both going to act rogue and give a hard time to each other. Something like the mid-90s films, where the hero and heroine start fighting for no earthly reason and then fall in love for something entirely absurd.

Mr and Mrs Rowdy is better than that, thankfully. There is reason enough for the heroine – Poornima (Aparna Balamurali) – to be upset with the hero – Appu (Kalidas Jayaram). But it doesn’t make director Jeethu Joseph’s movie any special. While it avoids a predictable storyline, it doesn’t offer anything much to hold your interest. You can just about watch it without getting bored, and leave the theatre without any lasting impression or even a memorable scene playing in your head. In one word, it’s mediocre.

It’s Appu’s world we first see. He and four of his friends are a local “quotation” gang – a slang used for men who beat up someone for money, or indulge in fraud. Appu and his friends are called for mostly small-scale work, such as pretending to be the workers of some political party to close down a factory, or chasing away the boyfriend of a rich man’s daughter. Work that Appu calls “cheap”. For some reason mentioned only in the last half of the film, Appu and his friends had been sent to a juvenile home for a crime and after coming out, chose this line of work for they couldn’t find anything better.

But they don’t seem to try either. Only when the parish priest – Vijayaraghavan – comes with his regular dose of advice, Appu mentions not being able to do any better. Otherwise all five of them hang out at a tea shop or at Appu’s home, lamenting their bad fate. Among them is Asif (Ganapathy) – who constantly talks about having to marry off his little sister – the oldest and one of the most tiring sob stories in cinema. Really, ages after dowry has been recognised as a social evil and the girl’s family bearing all the wedding expenses been denounced, why do movies go on forcing this idea on its audience? Then there is Shebin Benson who always daydreams, Vishnu Govindhan who cracks funny lines, and Sarath Sabha who always wants a top up on his phone. These traits would have been endearing had it been able to look or sound convincing. The comedy simply fails to click.

It is to this aimless world of young men trying to make some quick money that Poornima’s character comes. How this happens is to be appreciated – a moral policing incident shown as a common occurrence, a reality that we need to face even as we like to deny its existence. Poornima is not the irritating stereotype of a woman who is there to only fight with the hero. And Aparna plays the role very convincingly, even her loud outbursts not sounding offkey. Kalidas, however, doesn’t play his part as the orphaned goon all that well, looking uneasy as his lines appear to be delivered reluctantly.

Vijay Babu, Saikumar, Shaheen Siddique, Esther, Bhagath Manuel and Joy Mathew play passing roles, aiding the story along. Arun Vijay’s music does not help much even as it gives some nice visuals for the tit-for-tats between Appu’s gang and Poornima.

With a slightly stronger script and direction the movie could perhaps have been turned around, but in its current form, the entertainment that it tries so hard to deliver does not strike a chord with the viewers. 

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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