In director Salam Bappu?s Manglish, Mammootty plays Malik Bhai, a fish auctioneer based in Fort Kochi. The film is all about how his life changes after he meets a British tourist.
As it is usual in most of Mammootty?s masala films, the initial scenes have almost the entire Kochi singing paeans about how powerful Bhai is! He is the confidant of a corrupt politician and has some rivals, which includes the family of his former wife, who ditched him.
Bhai is asked to evict Michelle (played by Dutch theatre artiste Caroline Bech) from a homestay by the politico but he can barely understand what she says. Bhai can?t speak English and she desperately needs his help. The confusions that happen, of course in a predictable way, is what the film is about.
Though the script is just about average, Salam Bappu has managed to come up with a decent entertainer, for those who are there just for some fun. Still, after a decent premise the film doesn?t really make use of its resources and gets momentum only in the second half. Pradeesh Varma?s visuals and Gopi Sundar?s music are fine.
It is the restrained performance of Mammootty that holds the film together in a big way. The actor, who has been criticized during recent times for playing roles that barely suits his age, has come up with a good show. He is likeable and funny, though the character doesn?t pose much challenge to test his superb acting talents.
His heroine, Caroline Bech, does her role in an impressive way. Watch out for some good performances by Srinda Ashab, P Balachandran, Joju George and Tini Tom.
Manglish announces early on that it is meant to be taken not too seriously. Go with not much expectation and chances are that you could find it as an okay fare at best.