Akku Akbar's 'Bharya Athra Pora' despite its surface amiability is as unmoving as box of pebbles. Though it fruitlessly tries to affix itself to its successful predecessor 'Veruthe Oru Bharya', it isn't likeable or watchable as 'VOB' was.
Sathyanathan (Jayaram) is a teacher at a higher secondary school who is married to Priya (Gopika), a bank employee. The couple has a son Bhaskaran (Ken Sanal). Though not everything has been well with their family with Sathyanathan's alcoholism creating havoc on their peaceful existence, Priya forgives and forgets in an effort to keep them bound together. However when Sathyanathan 'discovers' the Facebook, he starts feeling that his wife hasn't been up to the mark, and Priya decides that she cannot take it anymore.
The chief issuue with 'Bharya Athra Pora' is that Sathyanathan is a husband whom we have seen several times before. The only difference is that the man is obsessed with Facebook this time around. But his complete disregard for his own family, and the lure towards any woman but his own wife, is something that we have seen in several husbands already.
Even more disheartening is the striking similarity that the film has towards the previous film from the same team. Agreed that the heroine in 'Bharya Athra Pora' is an educated woman with a voice of her own, and that the protagonist in 'Veruthe Oru Bharya' was not an alcoholic, but the life experiences that both these couples go through are very much the same. The daughter in the former film and the son in the latter end up in situations that prove to be eye openers for the parents.
It's a fact that 'Bharya Athra Pora' is not a rehash of 'Veruthe Oru Bharya'. But with all these ingredients the bottle looks almost the same and the wine almost of the same taste. There are no purposive efforts to bring in some freshness that would make 'Bharya Athra Pora' stand apart.
It's all too obsessed with technology, and Facebook is made out to be an application that's all about chatting and flirting online. A bit too unbelievable is the way Sathyanathan emerges to be an online wizard in no time, given the inexperienced middle ager that he was when he requests his son to create an account for him.
The trap that is set for him, and the one into which he walks into like a blindfolded cow, makes us wonder if he has indeed been teaching in a higher secondary school. Perhaps we could grant it to the fact that all humans do act idiotic at some point or the other, but its perhaps a bit too much to forego in a moment of carelessness.
There are a few jokes sprinkled here and there, thanks to the 'new generation' boys led by Aju Varghese. Though initially interesting, it gets aggravatingly unfunny with Sathyanathan turning out to be some idiot who decides to spike his hair as he is turning forty.
Jayaram is all too convincing as Sathyanathan, and this is undoubtedly one of his best performances in the last few years. Gopika looks even more gorgeous than before, and the consistent performer that she always has been does not disappoint us as the neglected wife. Ken Sanal is quite impressive in his debut performance.
It cannot be denied that the basic theme that 'Bharya Athra Pora' dwells on is outdated to the core, and that no amount of Facebook masking would make it any less tiring. As someone whispered after the film, "the wife isn't that good, nor is the film!"