The 2010 American comedy-drama The Kids are all right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, won four Oscar nominations and talks about a lesbian couple Nic (Annette Benning) and Jules (Julianne Moore). They gave birth to two kids through artificial insemination and at the age of 18 they go in search of the sperm donor responsible for their birth, Paul (Mark Ruffalo).
In the just released Buddy, directed by Raaj Prabavathy Menon, two women Meenakshi (Asha Sarath) and Padma (Bhumika Chawla) are staying together as they hate men. One of them has given birth to a boy Vishnu aka Kunju (Midhun Murali) and when he turns 18, the youngster starts searching for his father.
While, the original was known for its powerful moments, this shameless rip-off makes you squirm in the seats.
The boy, with the help of his two young friends, manages to spot one of the probable donors of the sperm, a carefree and rich middle-aged man named Manikunju Thadikkaran (Anoop Menon). He is living in Ooty with his gang of friends, a retired DGP Namboodiri (Balachandra Menon), an ex serviceman with a Punjabi turban and beard called Chandran Singh (Babu Antony), a small time director Biju Pattambi (Arun) and their cook Kurishu (Josukutty Valiyakallumkal).
Now it is Anoop Menon show all the way. With some mannerisms where he desperately tries to imitate Mohanlal, rotten philosophy, booze, adultery and action, Anoop just hams it up like there is no tomorrow.
It has been an accepted practice for a few filmmakers in Malayalam to make copies of well-made films from across the globe for sometime now, without caring to acknowledge the original or buying the remake rights. But then, a few of them even had the audacity to justify their actions by stating that every work of art will have some inspiration. You call this kind of copying as inspiration? Surprising!
Debutant director Raaj Prabavathy Menon seems to have been enamoured by Anoop's presence so much that he barely gives an attention to the feelings of other characters in an issue where emotions should have taken the front seat. To add to the woes, he is eager to mix all the recipes while cooking it and as a result, clichés like a few irritating song ‘n’ dance sequences, some fights, comedy, adultery and even a tragic disease comes in between. But all these don't quite succeed in making this amateurish attempt into an engaging watch.
Asha Sharath and Bhumika Chawla have nothing much to do other than to act bold and take on the intruders into their privacy. The young man's search for his father has been handled way too lightly. Let Balachandra Menon ask himself on whether this was the right role to make his much discussed re-entry. The less said about the rest of the cast, the better.
Buddy, which has been given an A certificate by the censors, may be due to the vulgarity in the lines, is for the hardcore fans of Anoop Menon's style. The rest of the world can grab a video of the original and watch the well-crafted original.
Sorry Buddy, better luck next time!
Verdict: Below Average