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‘Ittymaani: Made in China’ review: a celebration of the formulaic

Mohanlal in ‘Ittymaani Made In China’

Mohanlal in ‘Ittymaani Made In China’   | Photo Credit: Facebook/Ittymaani Made In China

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The social message gets delivered almost like an unending television soap, with just about the same quality of writing

Kunnamkulam, as the myth goes, is known for its duplicate products which rivals the original. It is perhaps apt that Ittymaani: Made in China is set for the most parts in this town, for it is a celebration of unoriginality, except for a supposed twist towards the interval (which the script manages to undo in no time in the second half), with some good old moral judgements and off-colour jokes.

The only China connection that Ittymaani (Mohanlal) and the movie has is that he was born there, a fact which is conveyed in an opening song sequence. As if to remind you of this connection Ittymaani and his mother (KPAC Lalitha) speaks in Chinese occasionally, often to keep the people around them guessing.

Ittymaani is someone who survives on commissions, taking some even from the hospital where his mother gets treatment. Yet, we know the star can never play a character who is heartless, as does the director duo of Jibi-Joju, who are making their debut. They go a little overboard in telling us how good hearted he is, with a desire to offer a helping hand to all the helpless souls in the world. At the centre of the story is a social message, which is reason enough for the long speeches and pieces of advice presented to us in the form of dialogues, more often than not delivered by the star himself.

Ittymaani - Made in China
  • Starring: Mohanlal, KPAC Lalitha, Radhika Sarathkumar
  • Direction: Jibi-Joju

But in delivering this message of how elders are often ignored by their kids, the scriptwriters make some grave errors. Sprinkled all over the script are crass double entendres directed at the 60-year old Annamma (Radhika Sarathkumar), some of it delivered by Ittymaani, who is otherwise shown going out of his way to help her out. It would’ve been normal for one of the judgemental folks in the village to say that, not this do-good saviour. Not to forget, the now staple joke about the ‘Me Too’ movement is thrown in too for good measure. The other woman character, Ittymaani’s love interest (Honey Rose), is almost a poster, as she hardly gets to speak.

The film seems to say that a widow remarrying is a crime which could bring shame for the entire family. The ageist writers should also probably Google up the French president and his wife. The entire bunch of the Annamma’s children and their spouses are written so one-dimensionally to portray their uncaring nature, that all of them are shown happily heading for a trip when their mother is in the hospital, with not even one of them expressing a doubt about the plan.

The latter half, where the social message gets delivered, is almost like an unending television soap, with just about the same quality of writing. Ittymaani is test of patience, made in China, no less.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:07:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/ittymaani-made-in-china-review-a-celebration-of-the-formulaic/article29362030.ece

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