Out Of Theatre
28 Nov, 2014 2 hrs 30 mins U
Jayasurya, Mukesh, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Bhama, Aju Varghese
Synopsis

The plight of harassed husbands has hardly ever been explored in Malayalam. However, the attempt falls flat and the entire movie would seem like a sermon interposed with biased film sequences.

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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Story: Mathai (Jayasurya) is a naive idealist who is an auto driver by profession. He takes it upon himself to solve the marital problems of a couple (Mukesh and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy)

Review: It seems Akku Akbar has attempted to explore a handful of very relevant subjects with Mathai Kuzhappakkaran Alla - the disturbing statistics of divorces in our society, legal loopholes as well as men's rights. To his credit, the plight of harassed husbands has hardly ever been explored in Malayalam. However, the attempt falls flat and the entire movie would seem like a sermon interposed with biased film sequences. At times, a viewer might think whether he is attending a marriage counselling class or a film.

Mathai (Jayasurya) is a do-gooder who wishes to help those around him and solve their problems, but he ends up doing more harm than good. One day, Mathai witnesses the friction between a doctor friend (Dr Nandakumar-Mukesh) and his wife (Geetha- Lakshmi Gopalaswamy).

He takes it upon himself to solve their issues with the help of his fiancee (Bhama). The film starts off on a promising note with Jayasurya delivering his usual funny act that is natural and you feel you are about to have some fun. But all too soon, the characters in question reveal themselves to be stereotypes - the hard working and self-made husband from a poor family pitted against the archetypal 'society lady all concerned about status', the controlling and egotistic mother-in-law who wrecks her daughter's marriage and small children who just want to see their parents united more than toys and clothes and mouth overly-sentimental dialogues.

The cliched situations and dialogues - which were once the bane of Malayalam cinema - come back to haunt us with a sermon against feminism, which is concluded to be the 'root cause of all the issues between modern-day couples'. "However empowered she is, can a woman climb a coconut tree?' is one such dialogue in the film. At times you wonder if the film has been made by the same director who came up with something as progressive as Veruthe Oru Bharya in 2008.Towards the end, the film loses the last semblance of focus as the causes of husband wife conflicts and its consequences are listed out one by one, with illustrations.

The only part of the film which keeps one from walking out of the theatre would be Jayasurya's captivating presence and Sreejith Ravi's Chandupottu act as a meek and feminine husband, which, though out of place, is done to perfection. All the cast and the actress playing Geetha's mother require a special mention, though Lakshmi Gopalaswamy is hardly convincing as the over-demanding wife.

Mathai Kuzhappakkaran Alla had everything going for it with the best of actors and ample scope for comedy, but unfortunately the filmmaker seems to be stuck in a time warp, just like the characters in the film, who communicate to each other through land phones, though all of them possess mobile phones. - Asha Prakash

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