My Christmas this year has almost gone up in smoke. Almost. Subjected to a dreadful torment called 'Cousins' the other day, that tries to pass off some incoherent noise as entertainment, the festive season looks a bit bleak for me at the moment.
Sam (Kunchacko Boban) is stuck somewhere in the past, courtesy a mishap that occurred six years back, that had almost cost him his life. The psychiatrist suggests that he goes on a trip to Manipal where he was when the tragedy took place, so that his recent memories might be recovered. Off he goes on the journey with his cousins Georgy (Indrajith), Pauly (Suraj Venjarammoodu) and Tony (Joju George) hoping to find out what had actually transpired during his life at Manipal.
I'd call 'Cousins' a royal shame, since it has some very promising young actors from this part of tinsel town in it, and yet it makes them do nothing but ridiculously move around in circles, embarrassing themselves and the ones watching them. In fact, there have been few occasions in the recent past when films with a cast as this have so little to offer.
'Cousins' touches an all new low when it comes to amusement as well. Films as these are usually peppered with a few harmless laughs here and there if not anything else, but in 'Cousins' all that happens are those repellent jokes about a character's hunger, that starts eating (pun intended) into you instead.
When Pauly writes a love letter that is full of spelling mistakes and when the teacher reads it out aloud, if there is very little laughter in the theatre, it's because the audience has something called memory, which the film makers seem to have conveniently forgotten. Recycling is passe at times, and here it's simply yuck.
How far would you take the viewers for granted? The four cousins jump into a lake without clothes, and a foreigner jumps in too despite their warnings that there is a huge fish in it. Having surfaced in front of Georgy, the foreigner fumbles underneath the water and cries out that he has found a huge shark. Funny, huh?
It doesn't end there either. When a kid runs away with their clothes, the 'Cousins' have no other option but to wrap themselves around in (plastic?) leaves and make an exit. When chased by a local ruffian and his gang of thugs, they crash their jeep into a fashion show, participate in it in their leafy attire and win the cup. Funny again?
These two instances speak a lot of the general tone of the film that gets progressively exasperating with every passing moment. Half way through, as the interval comes up, we are told that the real game is about to begin. And when it does begin, you zealously wish that they would screen the first half again, since the 'real game' emerges to be an even more excruciating ordeal.
'Cousins' does prove a few points though. It demonstrates how a film that has a running time of a couple of hours and several more minutes could be cooked up from a story that is never there, and it also confirms that you could get some of the best actors around working in it.
Don't even ask me about the performances. Kunchacko Boban looks terribly bored except when he is shaking a leg or two. Indrajith looks as if he is trying terribly hard to believe in what he's been told to do, while Suraj and Joju fumble and mumble around trying to cook up some mirth, with little luck. As for the women, sigh!
A disaster of colossal proportions is what 'Cousins' is. Vysakh's new multi starrer that has hit the screens this festival season might just about manage to scrape through it but it's very unlikely that these 'Cousins' will find any likers or takers thereafter.
NOW PLAYING | MOVIE REVIEWS