A fresh team of directors, a new scriptwriter, producers and an young technician crew-every time when we hear about a movie from such a crew, we always expects much from them. Many of the recent outings from such crews proved banal and stale. But that is not the case with Rajesh Faizal's debut film 'Malabar Wedding'. It is a light hearted movie that truly delivers what is expected from it. A romantic comedy about a couple who had to endure a humiliating obstacle course to marriage, much due to a popular custom sorakalyanam, is a comedy of manners, Kerala - style.
The director duo Rajesh - Faisal proves very much through their debut film that a long term association with their mentor, Priyadarshan, have definitely groomed them to realize how to make quality comedies. This comic caper never really runs out of steam, moving unpredictably all along till the climax, with no forced sequences, making us remember some of the best from the nineties. With no nonsensical musings and slapsticks, and the deft handling of a funniest cast, who stands rooted without any overacting, Rajesh and faizal certainly deserve the credits for creating some of the pleasing laughs in a couple of years.
The cast is exclusively keralite and the setting is Malabar, where the very middle-class Maanu kuttan an his friends rule the village, playing Sorakalyanam, the custom of beleaguering and teasing the prospective grooms up to their marriage and sometimes even after that. These pranks and jokes are taken with the rightest spirit in their Ilanjikkara village where each wedding are made uproarious, loud and cheerful by maanukuttan and his gang composing of sugunan, pookkatta satheeshan, avookar, savior and sadhu.
Into this village unexpectedly arrives Smitha and her parents from calcutta, leaving back their unpleasant parts of life. Within a few days, Maanu gets engaged with Smitha, little knowing about her history. But he very well knows and fears that being the lead instigator in the group of teasers, this could be his payback time from his former victims, including satheeshan and gang. He tries many ways to avoid the confrontations, but ultimately has to fall to the consequences that wreak havoc on his personal life, which the entire gang seldom foresee.
We've probably seen many marriage related stories before but not any way related to this plot. That's one reason Malabar Wedding seems fresh. The other highlight is the excellent casting, and the tactfulness which avoids overplaying and thus makes the comedy a great deal more amusing than it might have been in coarser hands. With such a refreshing story and taut scripts by Ramesh madhavaan, wheels are set in motion for an non obstacle-ridden course of a refreshing movie. Any fan of the comedy tradition from Sathyan to Priyadarshan, can very well feel the deft touches of farce gently applied, except in a very few stretches where the antics are haphazardly staged. Compared, however, to several recent ultra-bore formulaic movie wagons that have ripped the majority of Malayalam films recently, Malabar wedding is a model of subdued charm. The resulting entertainment is just a little facile at times but the with many interconnecting tracks and caricatured characters, ending with a wedding, are encompassed with considerable skill.
And in the acting front, 'Malabar Wedding', is another movie in which the protagonists have little to do than the group that is surrounding them. But even in this course of narratives, Indrajith shines makes his striking presence felt all over. He is equally in control in witty and touching sequences, showcasing his apt comic timing once again. Gopika even though in a small role with least dialogues proves her fine facility yet again, with an impeccable performance in a role that is quite v