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Times of India
: Engineering student Bharath (Gokul Suresh) has a habit of kissing people on their cheeks whenever he's nervous or happy. One such innocent peck though has repercussions in the lives of an eccentric gangster, two thugs and a police officer; setting them off on a wild-goose chase to find Bharath.
: A kiss can change a life - That seems to be the thread that Vipin Das pitched for his directorial debut, 'Mudhugauv'. While the idea seems to be simple, the writer-director meshes several storylines to keep this comic caper engaging.
The movie kicks off in the 90s showing the evolution of a gangster named Ramachandran Bonacaud aka Rambo (Vijay Babu). It quickly cuts to the present day and introduces the movie's protagonist Bharath - an engineer student who has a habit of kissing people on their cheeks whenever he has a surge of emotions. Bharath's efforts to woo Ganga (Arthana) cross paths with the endeavours of two thugs, a police officer and Rambo, changing their lives forever. How the latter four then go on a wild-goose chase to track Bharath down form the crux of the story.
Unlike the launch of many star kids, Suresh Gopi's son Gokul's debut movie hit the theatres without much fanfare. It has only helped the actor as he has a sweet and appealing presence. His first scene when he frets at those viva questions makes him instantly likeable. And then he follows that up with several natural, rib-tickling moments that would remind many of his dad's mannerisms.
Vijay Babu too deserves credit for subtly playing Rambo, which if was done over the top would have been ridiculous despite the movie's general theme. His dour portrayal makes the audience take his character seriously. Soubin Shahir and Kanaran Harish as thugs Kumari and Puthari though take the cake for their comic timing - evoking some genuine laughs even with cliched lines.
Rahul Raj's background score complements the movie's theme and also gives it a retro feel. The movie also has ample doses of nostalgic references - from Gokul referring to his dad's lines in Manichitratazhu and Lelam to the theme music of Yodha and Sholay.
The storyline and the dialogues of 'Mudhugauv' are nothing out of the ordinary but Vipin never once loses grip on the script and presents the farcical tale seamlessly. If you don't walk in with too many expectations, this one's a good one-time watch.