Madanolsavam Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2023 | Comedy, Political Satire
'Madanolsavam' is not as sure-footed as a political satire as it is as a piece of situational comedy. But the comedy is so good that it alone makes up for the minor flaws of the film. The laughs come at breakneck speed, and the actors have incredible comic timing.
Apr 15, 2023 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Sudheesh Gopinath's "Madanolsavam" is a film that sees the funny side of even a grave situation. At the start of the film, a man falls from a banana plant while trying to cut a bunch of ripe bananas. The man then asks his best friend to take care of his wife and child if he dies. The situation may be serious, but the writing for it and its execution make it very funny.

Suraj Venjaramoodu plays Madanan, an adult who earns a living from selling artificially colored chickens. He lives with an aunt who he finds very difficult to get along with. When new members arrive in his family, Madanan finds it more challenging to get by on his chicken business. But Madanan's life changes drastically when an election season comes, with possible good fortune or chaos for him.

In the first hour of Madanolsavam, it plays out as a domestic drama. It is funny and ironic when Madanan waits desperately for a specific event to occur so that he can make out with his wife. The scenes involving Suraj, Bhama Arun, and their child are so funny and lovely that they may even work just as well in a different film. There is a sense of innocence and poise about Suraj's performance that reminds you of 1990's Mohanlal. Even the way he rides his bike is a bit like how Mohanlal walks, with the one-side hanging shoulder. For someone who is so young in Malayalam cinema, Bhama Arun shows a lot of confidence, and her scenes with Suraj work like a charm. Soon, the domestic drama transforms into one that talks about politics.

This brings us to the minor misstep in the film. The makers fail to show the same sense of command over the satirical elements of this film as they do with the comedy. After a point, the satirical sequences become a bit too repetitive, making you kind of wonder where the film is heading in terms of narration. But the actors always come to the rescue of the film with a funny line or two and laugh-out-loud scenarios.

Madanolsavam is another entry in a series of recent Malayalam films where most characters speak the Northern Kerala slang. In terms of the plight of the protagonist, humor, and political shenanigans in the film, Madanolsavam is more of a companion piece to "Nna Thaan Case Kodu."

There are some really funny scenarios and one-liners in the movie from writer Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval. It also helps that director Sudheesh Gopinath draws great performances from the cast. We already spoke about Suraj, but there are also some more knock-out performances here, especially Ranji Kankol and Rajesh Madhavan as two Namboothiri goons. The film shows that crime can be something as mundane and domestic as it is for the Brahmin brothers. What underlines this is a series of scenarios that remind you of this classic Godfather line: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli."

Sreejith Mullappilly