While watching director Aji John's Hotel California, you may need a pen and a paper to note down the characters and their link to the story. That is if you don't want to get confused.
Scripted by Anoop Menon, this film is meant to be a spoof modeled on those mad capers, like Delhi Belly for instance. Many characters and situations get intertwined into a mayhem that will be solved somewhere near the climax. We have seen quite a few laugh riots on those lines but this one is not in the league of some those intelligent comedies.
What we see here is a megalomaniacal journey of Anoop Menon, the scriptwriter, who is using the time and patience of the viewers to prove some points. He is out there with his own agendas and at times, it even becomes self-promotion. Why should the viewers pay for his antics and some absurd statements justifying his earlier film Trivandrum Lodge, which was criticized for its obscene content? Forget the director of this film, as he seems to have got no clues about what is happening here!
It's not easy to mention the storyline of this irritating saga, here. There is this struggling gang, who are trying to smuggle the DVD of the forthcoming release of the film by a superstar played by Anoop Menon, from Dubai.
Then there is a north Indian politician linked to some scam, a rich girl waiting for semen to do artificial insemination, a small time gang who has labeled themselves as terrorists, a TV artiste ready to sleep with a businessman for some big bucks and then there is a local gangster, called 'Airport Jimmy' (Jayasurya).
As you would have guessed by now, their stories get mixed up and we are meant to be ready to digest the buffooneries from then on. But sadly, only a few small time artistes manages to come up with some nice lines and we start cringing in seats in complete exasperation.
The question is whether the 'A' certificate is a license to show virtually any sleazy visual or make some lewd comments? Why is it that adultery, booze and expletives are provided in plenty for the hapless viewers?
Now, let's make it clear. There is no problem in making a dark comedy and if the makers of the film decide so, there can be some 'bold' jokes to entertain the gullible viewers. But what if it all doesn't end up in becoming an entertaining movie? No one here seems to be clear about what was going on there. Jayasurya dresses up as a don but continues with his usual boy next-door style. Anoop Menon talks big and plays the gentleman among a group of lesser-known actors, who all are there to tickle the funny bone in the name of titillating comedy.
Hotel California should prompt serious viewers and filmmakers to think about the line that separates decency and comedy. But then, we will wait for a worthy film to have such a serious discussion, ignoring this nauseating mess as a bad dream.
Still, if you decide to go for this one, please carry some medicines for migraine!
Verdict: Damp Squib