'Chettayees' that marks Shajoon Karyal's return to the big screen as a director, is marred by a script that is fragile at best. The question that arises is, if after 'Seniors' and now 'Chetayees', men past their prime have become all the more in-demand.
John Pallan (Lal), Kichu (Biju Menon), Bava (P Sukumar), Roopesh (Suresh Krishna) and Babumon (Sunil Babu) are men who have turned out be thick as thieves though they have known each other only after having been thrown together in the same city. Over the years, they have become inseparable, much to the chagrin of their family members.
And so it goes on right until the half way point, when you get to see the five of them bawling and hollering around dead drunk, quite often getting on your nerves. They are the kind who barge into New Year parties, and throw beer bottles at people having a good time.
You wonder what has actually got into them, because they have all been leading pretty much happy lives, barring Pallan, who is trying to come to terms with a recent divorce. And yet, they seem to be obsessed with themselves, and only themselves, caring two hoots for the rest of the world and the fellow creatures around them.
The film does get charged up a little bit, post-interval, when it starts discussing a subject that borders on spousal possessiveness. Especially enlivening is the performance of Miya who plays the ignored wife to perfection, thereby elevating the entire film to another level altogether.
Of all the leading characters who play the key roles in the film, the wife occupies the central position; she is downright genuine in that her insecurities appear very much a part of the real world. She is downright vulnerable, and would go to any length to see to it that her husband shares her obsession towards her life partner.
This film sadly has a theme that could be discussed in ten minutes sharp; and that it has been stretched to a couple of hours is what makes the movie tiresome. Friendship and the bonds that bind friends together, have stood the tests of time, and here they survive yet a few more.
The scantily clad middle aged men who have taken to wearing a mere kurta are essayed to perfection by Lal, Biju Menon, P Sukumar, Suresh Krishna and Sunil Babu. At times, they are indeed loud and go way over the top, but they retain an air of togetherness throughout. But it's the lady who snatches away the glory right from under their noses and Miya affirms that she is a face to lookout for.
'Chettayees' could have made interesting material, had the makers added up to the very limited resources available at their disposal. But it makes no efforts to tide over these restraints and remains adamant that the ultimate effects produced are nothing above mediocre.