After trying his hand in different genres with average results, director Aji John is proving his luck in his third film 'Hotel California'. Definitely not a movie to be taken seriously, it neither does boast of an extremely inventive tale or an scholarly appealing screenplay in place. But it remains as one that keeps you entertained for most parts, right from commencement till the very conclusion. The film with its multiple narratives remains connected consistently, while the hilarity quotient varying from riotous to controlled. And hence the purpose, therefore, is served.
Hotel California penned by Anoop Menon brings to the big screen the scandalous and outrageous incidents, that happen mostly in two days. It moves through the lives of many persons with the common link being a 'pushpak' flight from Mumbai to Kochy. It has on its board, Roshan (Krishna), the personal body guard of a Bollywood superstar, who is carrying the latter's sperm to be delivered to Kamala Nambiar, who wants to deliver a child without the real physical interference of any male. In the same flight is Aby Mathew(Shankar), a rich flirting businessman, who is ready to have a day out with a television star of his dreams ,Swapna Joseph(Dhwani). Tarun Singh(Saiju Kurup), the son of a politician convicted in 2G scam, is flying down to kochy to meet his online girl friend. And on the same flight' is his look-alike Rafeeq Ahamed, a poor NRI who is working as a 'carrier fly', carrying the pirated copy of yet to be released film of superstar Premsagar (Anoop Menon), titled as ' Hotel California'. Outside the airport waiting for them is another big group starting from a bunch of self-procalimed terrorists to the local conman Airpot Gimmy(Jayasuriya) , who all needs to make money out of each of the deals offered by the men on the plane.
The movie though with many simultaneous tales makes a safe landing in 30 minutes and then is on a roller-coaster ride. On the whole, uninhibited and naughty, Hotel California' is an enjoyable madcap comic caper with adequate frenzied moments to keep you in your seats. Taking clues from their previous hit 'Trivandrum Lodge', mixing it with aces of ' Ramjirao speaking ', 'Delly Belly' and 'Tere bin laden', the movie has plenty of assured laughs. Aji John has also packed the movie with charismatic performances, harmonious music and the trendy look and styling as its aces. Primarily targeted at the Gen Next, , who might identify with the on-screen characters, Anoop's clever scripts is engaging , with plenty of spoofs on New generation movies and also carries a message. Amidst the lighter sequences, you can also spot fine satire on gangsters and terrorists.
Jayasuriya portrays a complex character in this film and he gets the part spot-on. A convincing screen presence and effortless acting consistently makes this character work. Joju as Bharathchandran I PS is a revelation and has the best lines in the movie that brings chuckles. P Balachandran doesn't get great lines to deliver, but his imposing persona and silence stays with you. Saiju Kurup is striking towards the final moments of the film. Shankar is alright. Nandhu and the 'Comedy festival' group gives some hilarious moments with their spot on timing of wits. Dhwani and Mariya have brief roles, which they enacts well. The rest of the casts are impressive and lends superior support to the lighthearted narratives.
But the real pluses of the film also includes stylish shots by Jeethu Damodhar and fine BG selections by Shaan Rahman.The movie that just ends in 137 minutes , thanks to sharp cuts by Xian, is a fine watch for a time pass.
All in all, this 'Hotel California'delivers more than what it promised in its attention-grabbing promos. Yes, you can always check out, but you can never leave this hotel.