Most of the scenarios that make up Advocate Lakshmanan: Ladies Only are crude, and the saddest thing about it is that its not even remotely as funny as it hopes to be. With the movie over, I would have been happy if there was at least a snappy one-liner that I could think of, but unfortunately that's not the case.
Mukesh plays Lakshmanan, a lawyer in the film who has earned for himself the Ladies only tag, because he specializes in divorce cases, and sees to it that justice is served as far as women are concerned. He has saved several hapless women from the clutches of their evil husbands, and once the divorce comes through, even offers them a job at his Ladies Only "Pickels" factory. Do not mind the spelling, for ultimately it's the tanginess of the Achar that matters.
Lakshmanan has several admirers among the fairer sex, and regularly receives calls from a woman he names Aradhika. Soon she reveals her identity before him, and it turns out that its none other than Annie (Mallika Kapoor), a lecturer at a local women's college. She is being stalked by an ex-lover Alex, she says, and Lakshmanan takes up the task of turning saviour once again.
This is a film that actually pooh poohs logic on the face, and doesn't care a bit about the continuity errors that creep in. For instance, Annie gets kidnapped and gives Lakshmanan a frantic call. The lawyer asks where she is and she looks out and says she can see the sea from her room. That's plenty of clues for identification and Lakshmanan reaches the place - the only place on the earth from where the sea could be seen - in no time.
That isn't much of an issue if you consider the fact that Lakshmanan talks to Annie from his house at the middle of the night with all the lights switched on. Cut to Annie speaking at the other end of the phone and we have broad sunlight streaming in through the windows. Surely Annie wasn't held captive somewhere across the continents?
Lakshmanan is no ordinary lawyer either. He must have been specially trained in kung-fu or the local kalari at least, as the villain's henchmen learn the hard way. He beats them up black and blue and gets married to Annie. And presto, as is the in-thing these days, arrives the twist in the tale. There are any number of scenes that astound you on account of their silliness. The climax is one such howler, when a whole new tale is cooked up to keep things rolling. On the whole it makes a mockery of both marriage and divorce, and ends up noisy and erratic to the core.
No prizes for guessing that the whole film has been conceptualized on very weak grounds, and there is little that Mukesh or Jagadeesh can do to make things look up. Mallika Kapoor could immediately get enrolled in some acting academy and get some urgent coching on mouth movements before attempting to utter Malayalam again.
There is very little that could be said about Advocate Lakshmanan: Ladies Only, except that it would remain forever a puzzle as to what actually were the intentions behind making this movie. It fails on all accounts, whether as a comedy or a suspenseful mystery and at more than two hours could turn out to be a real test of endurance.