It is not clear what Sunny Wayne is doing in the movie when it begins. More than two hours later, when the movie ends, you are still not sure why he was there at all. Sitting miles away in a foreign country, reading a blog – that is also the name of the movie – Oru Kuttanadan Blog, and discussing it with his roommate, Ananya.
Oh yes, it is explained to be one man’s nostalgia to keep track of his native place – Krishnapuram in Kuttanad. What it tries to do is use him as an unnecessary prop to tell the film’s story. And the story, unsurprisingly, revolves not around Krishnapuram, the village, but rather one man who runs the place – Hari ettan, played by Mammootty.
Everyone in Krishnapuram is excited when they hear Hari ettan is about to return from Dubai for good. A bunch of young men – Hari ettan’s gang – prepares the village for a grand welcome. Mammootty comes in his big black car and it is a relief to see that there are no heroics marking his grand entry. He merely acts surprised and whispers to one of his young cronies, “You guys went overboard and embarrassed me in front of the villagers.”
Let’s pick those pluses while we can. The easy relationship between Hari ettan and the young gang does give us some fun moments. But somehow most of their get togethers are for fixing relationships, one of them would want to express his feelings for a girl or another would want the unrelenting parent of his girlfriend to say yes to their marriage. Hari ettan will then find crooked ways to fix all of it. And they – actors Sanju Sivram, Jacob Gregory, Jude Anthany, etc. – turn to him for money and all other kinds of help too.
The twist comes when Hari meets his childhood sweetheart Shreejaya (Raai Laxmi) after years and a romance begins.
It has somehow become an inevitable part of ‘superstar’ films to establish that women find these stars irresistible. So when the panchayat members discuss the mischief that Hari and his gang do, Thezni Khan, the only woman among them, declares, “Despite all this, he is awesome.”
Far away, when Sunny Wayne shows Ananya a photo of Hari ettan, and for some reason they spend a lot of time talking about him, she echoes Thezni and says, ‘Awesome’. Shamna Kazim, taking charge as the new SI, calls him interesting.
No, no one is above falling for the charms of Hari. He is the saviour of everyone, even the enemies who talk ill of him.
Another tactic that superstar films often resort to, just to highlight how attractive their male lead is, is to have a number of young women actors around – Anu Sithara and two newcomers, in this case – just so some character can mouth dialogues to the tune of “This man can make any girl fall for him.”
There is some comfort to see the script not following the same formula many such superstar movies have in the past. Director Sethu, who has also written the script, moulds Hari as a man who is not ready to take the blame for someone else’s mistakes. Or it could also be that Hari is already godlike, so why wait till the climax for people to know it wasn’t him, eh?
Mammootty pulls off his big brother role pretty easily, like he has in the past with movies like Sangham. The only difference is back in 1988, his character would give space for the negativity of a cheat, a drunk, a spoilt rich man’s son. Thirty years later, the superstardom appears to limit him in such a way that he has to be a saintly saint all the time, without a single flaw.
However, in his fixing-everything mode, Hari chases a young man who disappears after making love to a girl, forcing him to marry her. And to top it off, he promises him that the girl would have a good amount of gold and money on her. So in one sweep, the character promotes dowry and forces a marriage.
The script uses such tactics to get applause or some laughs from the repressive lot. Like when a character mentions the name of a girl who gets cheated, another rebukes him saying: “You can’t name her, you have to call her ‘ira’ (victim), that’s how it is now.”
A nasty line intended as a joke at a time Kerala has been witness to a rape case of an actor allegedly masterminded by another actor, and there was a lot of talk then about calling the survivor an ‘ira’.
The film, in such a manner, disappointingly, falls back on done-to-death textbook heroism, instead of treading a path of its own.
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.