Johny Antony's effects adventure 'Ee Pattanathil Bhootham' starts off 'sweetly' enough with some awesome shot and graded shots; But once you realise that this is much more a kids' film that isn't even trying to be anything else, the unspectacular first half is the only thing that works for seniors. And for those who holds a likable interest right till the end of the first two hours, the movie then abruptly and unapologetically turns into the kind of fairy tale story, meant exclusively for those below their tens. But the encouraging thing is that though the farce screenplay is very predictable and could have used more imaginative situations, the film has enough colour, humour, and drama to make it appealing to children folk, who seems to have a dearth in their genre of movies in Malayalam.
As expected the movie has a good hearted genie, who is trapped by a wicked magician (Pitamagan Mahadevan) who uses him to make money through criminal ways. Accidentally rescued by a group of estranged kids trapped and held hostage in a circus troupe, the genie takes the form of their Jimmy Uncle (Mammootty). And to appease them, he adds a ''gottie'' on his chin, dress himself in branded shoes and attires and takes a childish voice. Meanwhile, Jimmy, his prototype, a multi-talented daring circus artist, is in jail for a murder of the troupe owner Philippose, the incident with which he hardly have any connection.
The daughter of Philppose, Ancy (Kavya Madhavan ), who comes back to inherit her paternal property hates Jimmy and the children who are supporting him. The "Bhootham" with alien powers are Jimmy, and his shildren's final chance to escape from the troubles they are presently in. How the friendly ''Kutty Chatthan'' manages to clear off himself and the children from their enemies and menaces, are the threads for the unlimited fun that follows.
If you walk in expecting gritty drama or complex characters then perhaps this is not the movie for you. In this screenplay of convenience, many sequences have their share of hiccups, not logical even to child viewers. But with plenty of one-liners and comic acts, it end's up as Mammootty's show all the way, which is sure to go down well with children. He is at ease playing the twin roles, though his new found voice for the "Bhootham" doesn't appeal much. Suraj Venjaaramoodu as his trusted aide and Salimkumar as a dumb cop provides the needed laughter all through. Mahadevan as the "manthravadi" is also good .
The film which is in fact, the final movie of Kavya Madhavan before her marriage, doesn't offer anything memorable for the actress. Left with out a love track and the mandatory duet song, she is absolutely out of place with no other mission than to look beautiful.
Utpal CV Nayanar 's beautiful cinematography, Manu Jagath's art direction and debutante Shan Rahman's music and background scores are the other high points of the movie. The EFX team has also created some mind-blowing effects, the best seen in Mollywood till now.
On the whole, 'Ee Pattanathil Bhootham' has something for the fans of children's movies, but little for those who don't like to go back to their days of innocence. And if you can't make a return trip, just skip this. But prescribe this for your little ones who may love it and cheer for its ''replication'' of same old tricks and situations that they read regularly in children's magazines.