For good or bad, 101 Weddings is not a typical Shafi movie. It can be a big disappointment for those who expect a thoroughly comic entertainer such as Kalyanaraman or Makeup Man, the director’s previous hits.
It is a family entertainer, and yes, there are comic sequences, but not the kind expected from Shafi.
A mass wedding is the background of the plot, which revolves around Krishnankutty (Kunchakko Boban), who likes to be called ‘Krish’, and Antappan (Biju Menon), whose mutual grudge dates back to their childhood. Krish’s father (Vijayaraghavan), a staunch Gandhian, was responsible for ruining Antappan’s father’s liquor business. Antappan always took out his anger on Krish, who had to resort to a bit of trickery to get the former out of his way. Little did he know that he was sentencing Antappan to a life of crime.
Now grown up, Krish is forced by his father to marry Abhirami (Samvrutha Sunil), the daughter of a liquor baron, who dares to fight her father and other injustice in society.
Krish, who lives a life much alienated from his father’s ideals, seeks out dance master Jyothish (Jayasurya) to impersonate him so that Abhirami rejects Krish.
They all sign up for the mass wedding and premarital counselling organised by Abhirami and group. Antappan too lands there eyeing the gold and money offered to each couple. The chaos that follows is the crux of the movie 101 Weddings.
Kunchako has skilfully conveyed the dilemma of a young man caught between the ideals he had been taught as a child and the need to live the life of his dreams. But it is Jayasurya as the effeminate dancer ‘Jyothi’ who steals the show.
Samvrutha has a full length role as a social worker, but there is not much for her to do. Biju Menon’s Antappan is not as strong as the characters he has excelled in of late. Salim Kumar, in a brief role, brings more tears than laughter.
Deepak Dev’s music on Rafeeq Ahamed’s lyrics are not impressive, but the song sequences are stylish with some brisk choreography. Alagappan’s camera has captured the breathtaking locales of Thodupuzha to perfection.
Kalavoor Ravikumar’s script drags a little. On the whole, the movie has all the regular commercial ingredients, but not up to the mark previously set by Shafi.
Cast: Kunchako Boban, Jayasurya, Biju Menon, Samvrutha Sunil