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Mammootty's comic act

July 10, 2009 19:01 IST

It seems once in a while Mammootty wants to reassure himself that he can handle comedy well, otherwise, one can't think of any other reason as to why he would do a Malayalam film like Ee Pattanathil Bhootham.

Agreed, that it is a fantasy film trying to lure kiddos along with their elders into the theatre. But, an actor of his stature can never be proud of such a film appearing in his filmography.

Director Johnny Antony and writers Siby K Thomas and Uday Krishna who gave us Thuruppu Gulan, a product for mass consumption with the star in the lead not very long back, are behind this too.

As for the premise, there is hardly anything to dwell upon. It just takes a leaf out of an old fairy tale where a good hearted genie is rescued from a wicked magician by some harried kids working in circus. The genie takes the form of Jimmy Uncle (Mammootty), a multi-talented circus artist who is in jail for a murder that he did not commit.

The narrative is full of wisecracks and witty one-liners that divert our attention from the implausibility of the plot initially. But, it seems to drag after a while.

It is Mammootty's show all the way. And, we are not complaining; because he is good most of the times, if not exceptional. His getup as the genie with beaded curls and a smart goatee too is endearing and it will surely go down with children. We could see that his childlike voice and accent as the genie is being mimicked by youngsters as they were getting out of the theatre after the show.

But, one thing that is hard to comprehend is, why Suraj Venjaramoodu is made to mimic him as if two Mammoottys were not enough to bring in the audience.

One more thing is the fact that this film is Kavya Madhavan's swansong; still she does not any significance in the story. Her character is card-boardish, and the opportunity for her to contribute something of value towards the story is nil.

Coming to the rest of the supporting cast -- Rajan P Dev, Suresh Krishna & Co -- are standard villains. Innocent as the father figure tries to put in some vigour into the proceedings but cannot do much.

The film is nothing but a comic act by Mammootty.

Rediff Rating:

Paresh C Palicha