Some things never change. Like Priyadarsan's style of storytelling, who in his three decades in movie making has made a stamp for himself with movies woven around middle-class men who crave for fortunes, mistaken identities, unending confusions, unforeseen coincidences and lots of helter-skelter. But as the director returns to Mollywood after a gap of seven years, Priyan is still with his book of vintage best that worked well in 80's and 90's. 'Arabiyum, Ottakavum, P Madhavan Niarum in 'Oru Marubhoomikkatha' will work well, if the Mollywood audiences can find things working in this Priyan's time tested formulaic film with that hectic humour.
Mohanlal is Madhavan Nair in the film, working as an accountant in the office of a Sheikh who is a womanizer and one pretty interested in paintings and antiques. Madhavan Nair, who had got a lot of responsibilities including two unmarried sisters and a bankrupt family, has strive hard in Abudhabi to make better of his circumstances, even without proper sleep or food. Now in his forties, he accidentally meets Meenakshy with whom he suddenly gets along well. They get engaged and are planning to get married in a short while. But destiny has another plan for him as he spots Meenakshy with his boss. Realising that Meenakshy was double-crossing him, he plans to end his life and take on to his car to drive into some trailers on the busy road. But into his dismay, he finds an old friend Abdhu Kupleri in the same car trying ways to secure a job. And on their way in the desert they spot Eliana, found inside a parked car being kidnapped by someone .The travels of the threesome for different motives, is what that the movie follows in its two hours and forty minutes.
Shot almost entirely in the Gulf, the movies takes references from many films including 'Nothing to Lose, (Starring Tim Robbins and martin Lawrence) ,and ' Serendipity' to the Hindi version 'Milenge Milenge'. The movie changes gears only after the arrival of Mukesh, who is the star of the film most of the time. Though the laughs are few and far in the later half, the movie makes it to an interesting climax. A little lengthier with some silly suspense's, it's the camaraderie of the Mukesh and Mohanlal which is the soul of the film. Their immaculate timing in making things work definitely has contributed to the success of scenes which may have conceived sloppily devoid of any logic.
References of good old scenes of many Priyadarsan films like 'Kilukkam, Chandralekha, Kakkakuyil and Vettom are all there in the movie which stand apart due to the high flying performances of Mohanlal and Mukesh. The rest of the cast including Lakshmi Rai, Bhavana , Suraj, Innocent, Mamukoya and Manianpillai Raju play to their roles, which demand no exceptional acting.
The other highlight of the movie is the camera work by Azhagappan who has captured the Gulf like never before. His finer takings are equally complemented by T S Suresh in editing. A couple of songs by MG Sreekumar are foot tapping though they are already infamous for allegations of lifting from Arab songs. MG also adds another share to the copying business by using the tracks of Arab songs and "The good Bad and the Ugly" theme in the background scores also, who are done in a rather silly way.
And the fun never stops here ...that is, if fun is what you derive out of overgrown boys played by actors ranging from 50 to 60 who repeatedly get slapped and hit for making us laugh .This desert story, may not appeal for those who definitely demand something fresh and subtle in movies. But for the rest, 'vintage repetitions' always works. At least they remind us of the good comedy movies that we had in the past. Advised for an onetime watch as it come with known caveats: leave your brains behind, as they say.