There are very few movies that you desperately want to like. And In Ghost House Inn was one such movie for me. But as it turns out, some things are impossible.
I suspect there is anyone around who doesn't know that Mahadevan (Mukesh), Govindankutty (Siddiq), Appukkuttan (Jagadeesh) and Thomaskutty (Ashokan) have landed themselves at Dorothy Bungalow, a spooky old mansion at Cliff Hill. Little do they realize that they need to play a different game this time, especially since their adversaries are not as earthy as they would like them to be.
It's a unique predicament that the viewer finds himself in. I mean, these are the four most lovable characters probably that every Malayali holds close to his heart. I guess every person out there to watch the four in action, so much want the camaraderie to work again. They so badly want to laugh out loud, and they so badly want to have a ball in the cinema hall as they have always done with the fantastic four. And when the opportunities to do so turn out to be very few, despair creeps in.
When it comes to Ghost House Inn, the jokes for instance, have lost their charm. Remember the first part of this franchise that had those gags coming out of nowhere, and that left you in splits?
And when they returned to Harihar Nagar for the second time, those giggles were left in tact. Their intensity might have been scaled down a bit, but at least they were there. But now, it seems like an extra effort has been made to twist every sentence into a joke; to go on and on until one of those darts hits it right.
The four friends remain as likeable as ever. However Appukkuttan seems to be undergoing a transformation, while the others have almost stagnated. I guess since the focus is on him, this is only inevitable. He has always been dumb, but seems to be getting worse with every sequel and age. The intellectual abilities of the dentist are undeniably on a downward slide, and his attempts to lend that extra little bit to the affairs, are not really working as they used to. There is a reason behind it though. He used to be naturally dumb once, but now he seems to be dumb by choice.
The mathematical predictability is what kills the script. With the third film having made it to the screens within an year after the second, it badly needed something drastically different to keep the spirits up and running. Those twists that had served as bolts out of the blue in the first two films are missing here. I wouldn't call that surprise at the end a real surprise, since anyone can spot that one coming along a mile away.
If you asked me what is the best thing I liked about the film, I would say it was the very last two minutes where they show all those goof-ups that happened during the shoot. Now that was some real hilarious stuff that brought a smile to everyone's lips.
I feel this tremendous urge to re-watch for the umpteenth time, those four men in their prime, up to their funny antics. And I am talking of the very first installment of Harihar Nagar that appeared several years back.
Most sequels tend to lose steam after a couple of follow ups, and the Ghost House is no exception. The incomparable dynamics of Harihar Nagar is what is sadly missing in this Ghost House, and it goes without saying that it could prove fatal.