Wacky at times and dawdling at others, Martin Prakkatt's 'ABCD' has plenty of highs and a few lows. The tidings of good cheer make it humorous and playful, but the tendency to get lost amidst ineffectual distractions hold it back from turning into a perfect entertainer.
Johns (Dulquer Salman) and Korah (Jacob Gregory), born and brought up in the US have the shock of their lives, when all on a sudden they are packed off to India, after Johns' dad decides that he has had it up to his neck with their antics. When they realize that their Indian vacation is gonna last longer than they expected it to, the duo try every trick in the trade to fly back home.
Martin Prakkatt's 'ABCD' might not qualify as an intellect stimulator nor would it send your brain cells working overtime. However, it isn't purely shallow entertainment either since it blends together a few commendable thoughts with whole lots of fun.
'ABCD' could very well boast of plenty of light moments that would easily bring a smile to your lips. This jovial hilarity that runs throughout the film is what makes it endearing to the viewers. The uproarious dialogues and amusing situations do ensure a laugh most of the time.
You do sense that the film isn't all about rainbows and hugs when the baddie walks in as a young minister who brushes off adversaries from his path, like one does away the flies with a fly swatter. It is at this point that the film brings in some social activism for a change, and from here on the film gets all wobbly, though the humor stills acts as a life saver on several occasions.
It's a very simple movie, which has an even simpler tale to tell. I did love the way it all ends, and especially the very last shot of Madhumitha (Aparna Gopinath), riding away to glory on her yellow scooter. It's one of those rare instances where love could have unleashed havoc on the tale, and it's fantastic that the film takes a safe detour right there.
The film runs for an unforgivably long time of one hundred and sixty six minutes, and could have been much better if it were trimmed off some thirty minutes. There is nothing earth shattering about the issues being discussed and a shorter running time could have made 'ABCD', the crisper, smarter film that it ought to have been.
One also cannot deny the fact that Johns looks like a shadow of Faizy of 'Ustad Hotel' at least on a few occasions. Both of them are caught in an identity crisis and go through some life transforming experiences that would decide the kind of men they are to become eventually. And both of them, in the process, realize as to what they have been losing out on all the while.
Dulquer is perfectly cast as Johns, and he is quite comfortable playing the youngster who finds his world going topsy-turvy one fine day. Jacob Gregory is quite good as well, but his accent betrays his performance as a guy who has spent his entire life in the US. Aparna Gopinath is a talent that we would see more of in the future, and her debut is a real confident one that could give a few lead actresses a run for their money.
This is a visually spectacular movie thanks to some spellbinding cinematography by Jomon T John. And the 'Johny Mone Johny' number that has already caught on like a rage is brilliantly captured on screen, making the peppy song composed by Gopi Sunder one of the highlights of the film.
'ABCD' is one madcap ride of entertainment. There are a few complaints to be made here and there, but it's an enjoyable romp nevertheless with these American born confused desis!