Raaj Prabhavathy Menon's 'Buddy' reminds you of soggy, overcooked noodles that refuse to let its strands be forked up. The reasons are many, with the jittery script occupying the seat right in front. It's the writing that sinks this ship no doubt and before you know it, it will have doused out the very last flame of excitement with which you had walked into the cinema hall.
Kunchu (Midhun Murali) is a teenager all set to turn 18. Life mustn't have been easy for him all the while, what with not one, but two mothers (Asha Sarath and Bhumika Chawla) pretending to be lesbians, and with an unknown sperm donor of a father. As he walks into adulthood, his mothers disclose the secret to him, which prompts the curious youngster to go online to track down his donor dad.
I wouldn't really blame you if you are already screaming your lungs out, claiming you have seen it in all in the Hollywood flick 'The Kids are All Right'. If you remember right, Annette Benning and Julianne Moore are real lesbians who decide to have a baby from a sperm donor, while Padma and Meenakshi in 'Buddy' pretend to be a same sex couple. That's the most they can do, at the moment.
Barring this basic premise, it would be unfair to compare the two movies any further, since 'Buddy' is nowhere near 'The Kids are All Right' in scripting or execution. On the contrary, it's a mix masala film that dips its fingers into too many bowls at once, not being sure if it wants to be a comedy or an emotional caper.
I was frantically hunting around for the two women who mysteriously disappear, once the sperm donor Manikunju Thadikkaran (Anoop Menon) makes an entry. I mean, these women hogged the limelight for the first fifteen minutes, and they vanish without a trace thereafter. When they finally walk in again, the sob story that they drag in along with them isn't something that 'Buddy' can afford to have as a pre-climax either.
It all continues in the same vein, from where Anoop Menon had left off in his last film. 'Cant see you as my son, why don't you be my buddy,' asks Manikunju. And you yawn, having waited for this moment to come along, and relieved now that it has passed. And why is it that his onscreen wives (Bhavana in 'Trivandrum Lodge' and Honey Rose in 'Buddy') keep meeting an unfortunate end on the roads?
There is a scene in the film where Manikunju tries hard to prove that he can deliver a few kicks as well. The perfect scenario is set, when sonny walks into a college and is ragged by a bunch of unruly seniors. Daddy Cool walks in with his aides, shoves a revolver down their throats and walks off, but not before his menacing face is doubled across the screen in an awkward visual effect. Manikunju also gets to dance in a song a few minutes later, which makes you wish he had simply stayed back home.
A few dialogues at least are atrocious, to say the least. Of the ones that take the entire discredit, is the one where Manikunju asks Kunju his real name, and the boy replies Vishnu. Manikunju quotes a very popular Sanskrit verse to bring in the name emphatically, which makes you wonder what the scenarist must have been thinking about while he penned the lines.
Manikunju is one of those dads that you almost expect Mammootty or Mohanlal to be, and Anoop Menon with the salt 'n pepper hair tries hard to emulate a convincing screen dad. He looks a bit too puffed up, and with those lectures on detachment distances us from him, in a matter of minutes.
Asha Sarath looks uber cool as the much acclaimed writer, while Bhumika is perfectly cast as the professional classical dancer. One only wishes they were allowed a bit more of a screen time. The real hero of 'Buddy' is Mithun Murali, who has it no doubt within him, the potential to deliver much more. The four aides that hang around Manikunju 24 x 7, played by Balachandra Menon (I wish he had opted for something better for a comeback), Babu Antony, Arun and Josekutty Valiyakallumkal have nothing much to do, except to stretch the running time further.
Yet, I have this gut feeling that Raaj Parbhavathy Menon, would do infinitely better in his second film. 'Buddy' is no doubt a false start, but the polish that his directorial debut displays cannot be left ignored either.