Kuttanadan Marpappa (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’ tries to make do with the done-to-death romantic tropes and ends up a much less assured version that it originally must have set out to be. The leaden comic touches do not much help either, and it isn’t a wonder that it ends up in the water, quite like many of its characters who literally do in the film.


kuttanadan-marpappa-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

Sreejith Vijayan’s ‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’ is a film that hits easy targets, with screenwriting that appears slack, and characters and performances that turn out to be make believe. It’s a wheezy romantic caper that just about makes do, with a story that is no great shakes and a cast that looks oddly aloof.

John Paul (Kunchacko Boban) is a wedding videographer who is all set to capture the betrothal of his ex-lover Jessy (Aditi Ravi) on camera. Her haughty fiancé Peter (Ramesh Pisharody), who has stepped down to Aleppey, all the way from London where he reportedly works as a fashion photographer, bustles around to ensure that the marriage is a gala affair.

kuttanadan-marpappa-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

I was unable to unearth a clue as to why John Paul has been nicknamed Marpappa, and if at all there had been a specific reference, I need to admit that it must have flown over my head. And its then that a dear friend reminds me that John Paul was the former Pope. That fits the piece, indeed! For me though, there is hardly a reason for the pet name beyond the coining of a fancy title and it hardly holds any significance, as do several other scenes and sequences in it.

‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’ has a very middling setting, and the grandeur of the boat race in the initial frames of the film wears out in a matter of minutes. It’s an age-old tale thereon, with keen attempts to spice it up with some new age elements that have successfully evoked an ovation in similar cinematic endeavours.

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The film does shake off its lethargy for a few minutes towards the climax, but then messes it up further by elongating it several minutes more, almost as if determined to explain things out, lest you miss a point. The result, being that brevity that could have turned out to be so much beneficial at this juncture is drastically lost.

John Paul shares a warm relationship with his mother Mary (Shanthi Krishna), who had brought him up all on her own, after his dad had decided to end his life several years back. Mary is the sort of mother who hopes that her son finds an affluent bride; preferably a nurse employed abroad, and keeps egging him on to make an extra move, whenever necessary.

kuttanadan-marpappa-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

This is a surprise from Kunchacko Boban yet again, as he often does, and the actor leaps back a mile with ‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’, in a role that should probably have come his way a good fifteen years back. Aditi Ravi adheres to the requirements of a characteristic heroine with all genuineness, while the actor who plays her younger sister, in a much briefer role, leaves a mark. Shanthi Krishna appears a far cry from the restrained actor that she once was, and lets lose her reins in a feat that strikes us as inflated more than anything else.  Ramesh Pisharody, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Innocent, Salim Kumar, Hareesh Perumanna and Aju Varghese appear in key roles, while Soubin drives in and out in a cameo.

Keep your sunglasses on for the song and dance sequences since they haven’t got this flashy in recent times. The set designs are no less flamboyant, and this loudness prevails throughout, not merely in the choreography or costume design or art direction, but surprisingly even in characterization.

‘Kuttanadan Marpappa’ tries to make do with the done-to-death romantic tropes and ends up a much less assured version that it originally must have set out to be. The leaden comic touches do not much help either, and it isn’t a wonder that it ends up in the water, quite like many of its characters who literally do in the film.


Verdict: Strictly Average


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