In its scrutiny of how the glamour world discards artists as quickly as their hits dry up, Mohan Kumar Fans doesn’t have a sliver of a recent thought.
Stories set in movie industries have attracted cinephiles the world over for many years. Clearly audiences can not get sufficient of the non-public battles of larger-than-life stars and behind-the-scenes drama in gossamer land.
Any script located in tinseltown has formidable sneakers to fill since a lot has been stated already and so properly. Can you match as much as the creativity or grand pathos of The Artist (French/2011), an account of an smug celebrity’s failed transition from the silent period to talkies and its aftermath? Can you obtain the difficult mix of lightness and poignance struck by Hollywood in 2016’s international blockbuster La La Land a couple of younger lady’s struggles to get a foot within the door? Do you’ve got the braveness of Mahanati (Telugu/2018) that positioned the highlight on flawed real-life legends who betrayed a colleague? Do you’ve got one thing to say that has not already been stated?
At first, the reply seems to be sure for Mohan Kumar Fans. The eponymous protagonist (Siddique) was as soon as a star earlier than he “got washed away in the flood caused by the advent of Mohanlal and Mammootty”, as an aged gentleman explains to a teen early on. This description is an prompt hook.
The narrative kicks off with Mohan Kumar’s comeback after three many years away from the arclights. His new launch is doing properly on the box-office when business issues intervene in its destiny.
On one other monitor, Krishnanunni (Kunchacko Boban) works as a driver for a producer referred to as Prakash (Mukesh), with the objective of constructing connections within the movie trade whereas on the job. He is an aspiring singer.
On a 3rd monitor is the unscrupulous rising star Krupesh (Vinay Forrt).
Debutant Anarkali Nazar’s identify is introduced with fanfare within the credit, however she is a faint presence in Mohan Kumar Fans’ male universe. Sreekutty, the character she performs, is outlined by her ties to the boys: she is Mohan’s daughter, Krishnanunni’s singing associate and (Spoiler alert) an object of Krupesh’s curiosity. (Spoiler alert ends)
Any promise held out by the movie’s premise is quickly swept away by a excessive tide of ordinariness. The story is drab and lacks concepts, which is confounding since it’s by Bobby and Sanjay who’re among the many names credited for kickstarting the New New Wave of Malayalam cinema. Jis Joy, who has written the screenplay and dialogues along with directing Mohan Kumar Fans, has a fairly good monitor report too. His final movie for one, Vijay Superum Pournamiyum was uncommon and enjoyable.
In its scrutiny of how the glamour world discards artists as quickly as their hits dry up, Mohan Kumar Fans doesn’t have a sliver of a recent thought. The hero’s thread within the story is maudlin and boring. The motive why his comeback movie is prematurely pulled out of theatres tells us one thing in regards to the functioning of his trade, however twists of destiny that observe don’t have anything to do along with his occupation – they embrace Mohan not checking the Internet in time to seek out out a couple of essential occasion, a courier package deal being delayed and stuff being misplaced resulting from somebody’s carelessness. Bleh.
The challenge Krishnanunni undertakes to raise Mohan’s spirits is foolish and unoriginal. And the emotionally over-wrought finale is as manipulative as a formulaic cleaning soap.
Even a run-of-the-mill enterprise needs to be challenged when it makes mild of violence, as Mohan Kumar Fans does albeit in passing. When a person within the movie says he brutally beat his spouse, the scene is given a comedic tone by way of the expressions on his listeners’ faces and the intonation of the background music.
Malayalam cinema usually normalises home violence, together with marital rape, however a later scene of bodily abuse in Mohan Kumar Fans is just not the routine in Mollywood. Prakash slaps a junior within the presence of a number of folks – as disturbing as the truth that the abuser is supposedly a pleasant man, is that not an eyebrow is raised at his conduct and the sufferer himself is just not proven to be indignant. The portrayal of violence right here is so informal that there’s no query of anticipating an acknowledgement of the caste and sophistication differentials that might be at play in an analogous situation in actual life.
Hope for the movie rears its head within the type of the deliciously chilly Krupesh, and for some time he’s entertaining. The preliminary positive aspects with him are rapidly misplaced although to hyperbolic, caricaturish, one-dimensional characterisation. And the Vinay Forrt who was so hilarious in Premam and sensible in each Kismath and Thamaasha, finally ends up seeming over-the-top right here, a sufferer of immature writing.
Siddique is simply okay because the titular lead whereas Kunchacko, whose nice character often lifts even unhealthy movies, is bland. Krishnanunni’s introductory scene has him, a Hindu, coaching a church choir, which the script makes use of as a possibility to slide in a message on humanity being above faith by way of the medium of a Christian priest.
The subsequent time Mohan Kumar Fans tries to supply a lesson is when a voiceover says that awards matter little. Jis Joy reveals a scarcity of dedication to this stand although when visuals of precise Malayalam actors accepting awards observe the VO. Ummm. Okay.
For the report, this movie is just not the worst lately to be set in Mollywood. That distinction goes to Balachandra Menon’s cringe-worthily terrible Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum. Mohan Kumar Fans is just not cringe-worthy. The phrase for it’s bizarre.
Rating: 1 (out of 5 stars)
After a quick theatrical run in the course of the pandemic, Mohan Kumar Fans is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.