Film: Mr. Marumakan

Cast: Dileep, Sanusha, Khushboo, Bhagyaraj

Direction: Sandhya Mohan

The script writer duo Udayakrishna-Siby K. Thomas is known for their perfect mix of drama, slapstick, and twists that bring crowds to the theatre. Though not always the critics’ favourites, their films manage to rake in the moolah with their last four movies being the biggest grossers in recent times.

Fresh from their success with Mayamohini , the duo teams up with their favourite star Dileep in Mr. Marumakan . Directed by Sandhya Mohan, the film says the story of Ashok raj (Dileep), a lawyer who runs his family’s debt-ridden drama troupe out of love for the art.

In comes banking Ombudsman Balasubhramaniam (Bhagyaraj’s first appearance in Malayalam), who initiates revenue-recovery proceedings against Ashok’s drama troupe. Meanwhile, Ashok falls in love with Balasubhramaniam’s daughter Rajalakshmi (Sanusha), leading to a showdown with her mother (Khushboo).

Though the storyline of the tussle between a woman and her son-in-law appears fresh, it is just a variant of some of Dileep’s earlier movies. He does fit the role like a glove. The first half is a breeze with comic support in the form of Suraj Venjaramoodu and Salim Kumar. Baburaj, with his new-found flair for comedy, essays another comedy role, though with lesser impact.

However, the ‘evil women’ characters of Khushboo and Sheela are unconvincing, though the apt usage of footages from Sheela’s films was a novelty. Their haughtiness is an excuse for a parade of highly sexist dialogues from the male protagonist.

A feature of this movie is that the ‘slap’ is seen as a panacea. Every character slaps every other character at one point or other to solve a problem. Also avoidable was a long, ‘supposedly comic,’ sequence of rape.

Sanusha, familiar to Malayalis as a child artiste, is chosen for a role for which she looks too young. But she has handled it with ease, although her character too suffers from stereotypical treatment.

Biju Menon and Nedumudi Venu displayed initial promises of meaty roles, but were sidelined in the second part of the script.

Mr. Marumakan , the tagline of which goes ‘fun-in-law,’ has elements that you can expect from a Dileep starrer. Though there is shortage of fresh air in the film, one can escape un-suffocated.

S.R. Praveen