Imagine Mammootty as an unemployed NRI, based in Germany and living at the mercy of his bossy wife, a nurse. Writer-director Ranjith's Kadal Kadannoru Mathukkutty has been set in such a realistic and interesting backdrop.
The story begins in Germany, where the Pathanamthitta Malayali Association sends Mathukkutty (Mammootty) to Kerala for two days to invite superstar Mohanlal for their annual event. His wife Jancy (Muthumani) is not very keen to send her husband home. But for Mathukkutty, it's a long awaited relief, to stay away for a while from his family.
Back to his roots at a sleepy village in Pathanamthitta called Plankamon, Mammootty discovers the real face of some of the natives, in a matter of some weeks. The whole film moves ahead with incidents that happen one by one, almost in the same pattern as Ranjith's earlier film, Prachiyettan & the Saint, which also had Mammootty in the lead.
But the problem here is that this excellent premise has been executed in a surprisingly lazy way. The storyline lacks depth, the script is good only in parts and the performances are not really impressive. Ranjith, easily one of the finest scenarists in the business, seems to have done a half-hearted job this time.
Even the shots in Germany have been done in a careless way, which is evident from the roadside visuals, shown during the beginning titles. The cameo roles by Mohanlal, Dileep, Jayaram and the lead by Mammootty himself make only a limited impact. There is some sort of a desperation to make the viewers laugh at times, but the efforts fall flat.
Mammootty tries a bit too hard to look convincing as a likable villager with a heart of gold, but his character has not been sketched well. The familiar cliches in stories such as these are present and make it seem as though the director was not really sure about his stance regarding certain issues and how it is to be handled in the film.
Was he trying to prove that living in a foreign land is better than it is in Kerala? Or, is the media solely to be blamed for all the unhealthy practices happening around?
There is Mathukkutty's ex-flame Rosy (Alisha Mohammed), who is still ruing about her 'fate' and is ready to accept him to start a new life, maybe in an effort to portray that too, as some kind of heroism! In fact, women are generally shown in a questionable light in the whole film.
Among the actors, it is Muthumani and P Balachandran who have come up with a good show.
As per recent reports, the film has received a huge amount as satellite rights. Now, it would be beneficial for the industry, aspiring filmmakers and also for the TV channels if the criteria in deciding the amount were closely examined, after the lackadaisical way this film has been made.
As the film comes to an end it's a sense of disbelief that comes to your mind about the casual way this one has been made.
Kadal Kadannoru Mathukkutty is for those viewers who can be lured by the presence of some big names. For those who look forward to watch good cinema, well, it has some nice moments in between at best. That's it!