Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 6 September 2003
Kunchakko Boban, Pritviraj, Jayasurya, Meera Jasmine, Bhavana.
Kamal is a director who specialises in picture-perfect, colourful designer films in Malayalam to suit the taste of the young audience of Kerala brought up on a diet of Bollywood films. Swapnakoodu, his latest Onam offering is another profusion of colours heavily inspired by Dil Chahta Hai.
The story is about three final year students at the Pondicherry Institute of Hotel Management and Catering in search of their identities and their encounters with two sisters.
The three guys are- Kunjukunju (Pritviraj), the Kanjirapally achayan who is a swaggering thick shinned Casanova who makes a pass at every girl whom he meets, Deepu (Kunchakko Boban), the calm and cool guy who is never able to express his true feelings and Ashtamoorthy (Jayasurya), a playful, jolly good fellow who flips over every second girl who crosses his path.
Enter the two sisters Kamala (Meera Jasmine) and Padma (Bhavana). The three guys come to stay in their house as paying guests. Initially all three have a soft corner for Kamala who is a florist and is strikingly sweet and subdued. Deepu buys flowers from her almost everyday and is madly in love with her, but does not express it. Astamoorthy makes a fool out of himself and ends up as her ?rakhi? brother! Meanwhile Kunjukunju who starts on the wrong foot with her finds himself bowled over by her charms.
But Kamala thinks that Kunjukunju is a ?compulsive flirt and a creep? but slowly gets attracted to him and the rest of the story is quite predictable as Kunjukunju and Deepu have a fall out and a drunken Asthamoorthy brings them back. Finally there are no losers, and Deepu even gets a beautiful girl (Laila in a special appearance). On the downside the plot is much too precarious a peg for a nearly three-hour account of buddy-buddy-yuppy trio and their girls. All the three guys are shown always romancing and having fun but never attending classes. The narrative is interspersed with sumptuous song ?n? dance numbers as Kamal tries to pass off Vienna as part of Pondicherry!
Pritviraj as Kunjukunju tries to let his hair down and even tries to copy his father Sukumaran?s style of dialogue delivery. Kunchakko Boban has a very insipid role while it is Jayasurya who is the surprise packet. He has proved his natural flair for comedy and outbeats the other two in most of the scenes. Meera Jasmine as Kamala has given a stunning performance, while Bhavana has nothing much to do.
Mohan Sitara?s music is very average, as he has tried lifting some Hindi tunes. On the whole Kamal has dished out an artificial visual bubblegum movie for those who crave for sugarcoated entertainment.