Mandakini Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2024 | Drama
Critics:
Audience:
'Mandakini' is a wedding comedy that revolves around the eventful night of a newlywed couple, highlighting the strong decision-making power of women. Despite the lively atmosphere and strong performances, the film lacks substantial content and relies on predictable humor and scenarios.
May 29, 2024 By K. R. Rejeesh

Where To Watch:
In Theaters: INDIA  

In this wedding tale of an introverted youth and a charming girl, the conflict springs a surprise in the form of a cheeky episode. Though the plot sounds puerile at a glance, writer-director Vinod Leela is able to hold 'Mandakini' from falling into the contrived realms of humour. There are characters appearing as dim-wits and doing absurd things, but the film drums up support from its graceful natural premise and key performers. Here, Vinod is hardly offering any refreshing template yet he embraces natural situations as a platform for generating a tad organic fun. Another aspect of the movie is its attempt to portray ordinary women as confident and bold individuals. Above all, a coherent plot would have brought the real difference.


'Mandakini' is all about how the wedding night of Aromal, played by Althaf Salim, and his bride Ambili (Anarkali Marikar) gets botched due to a riveting turnout of events at the groom's house. At night, a nervous Aromal finds his brother-in-law Unni (Vineeth Thattil) engaged in a boozing party and the latter tells Aromal to consume liquor. Meanwhile, Aromal's sister Ajitha (Aswathy Sreekanth) scolds her husband Unni after finding him in an inebriated state. After some time, a panic situation arises in the house and Aromal's mother Rajalakshmi (Saritha Kukku), who runs a motor driving school, makes a bold decision.


The tale highlights the decision-making power of women who lead from the front in the decisive portions of the movie. But it never becomes preachy as well as makes deliberate attempts to permeate feministic views. Rajalakshmi is a feisty woman, who had taken care of the family after her husband's death, and this character is the cornerstone of the film. Saritha Kukku has handled the role with a mature and impressive performance. It is a perfect casting as Althaf Salim effortlessly transforms himself as Aromal. The actor's familiar mannerisms and body language perfectly blend with the demeanours of the protagonist. Althaf is able to shoulder the movie to an extent by portraying an innocuous character that has striking resemblance to the roles he has donned earlier. Still, there are situations where the hero creates cringe moments so as to make one wonder about an educated youth's level of absurdity on his wedding day.


As a pleasant and charming bride, Anarkali gets enough room for performance vis-à-vis the male protagonist. She could grab the attention when the film unfolds its actual conflict that becomes riveting due to the active involvement of women in the events. It is a full-fledged outing for Vineeth Thattil, who has sustained the tempo and rhythm of the proceedings that would, otherwise, have turned out to be a lacklustre affair.


Shiju M Bhaskar, who is also the cinematographer of the movie, has written this simple tale that takes place in one day. Music composer Bibin Ashok has done a commendable work in creating two nice songs which smartly blend with the sequences. 'Mandakini' gains an appealing glaze when the 'women-power' takes centre stage though you look for substantial content in the ruckus on screen. It is a lively comedy drama that perfectly offers all the vibes of a wedding party along with its joyous commotion. But amidst the pleasant milieu, absence of a solid content is evident.

K. R. Rejeesh

   

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