Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal Review: A family-friendly love story that doesn't take itself too seriously
Though the film momentarily touches upon serious topics like religion and homosexuality, it doesn't explore them in depth and keeps things largely light
In his latest film which he also wrote, Anoop Menon plays Sanjay Paul, a popular chef who is famous in Kochi for his special chicken recipe, which is known for being an aphrodisiac. Men flock to his restaurant in the hope that his chicken dish will spice up their love life. No one knows the secret ingredient except Sanjay. This makes him sort of a Malayali Colonel Sanders.
Director: Sooraj Thomas
Cast: Anoop Menon, Miya George, Baiju, Alencier Ley
But what about Sanjay's love life? Not so promising, from what we glean in the film's opening scenes. Sanjay is engaged to the daughter of a filthy rich industrialist and he doesn't seem too happy with this alliance. Then comes a phone call from an old friend, and the secrets to not just his chicken recipe but also his love life are unveiled.
In a flashback, we meet Anjali, the woman who introduced him to this secret spice. She uses the same in one of her aromatic candles, the vapours of which, when inhaled, invoke feelings of lust. He meets her during a trip to an Ooty estate belonging to one of his middle-aged friends, played by Baiju. Sanjay meets Anjali while gaining some insight about cooking and his friend's distressing love life.
But Anjali is not the kind to fall for Sanjay that easily. Her reason for rejecting Sanjay: he is fat, hairy and an old-fashioned lover. This is a big blow to the ego of a man who, up until that point, prided himself on his ability to seduce any girl. They continue as friends, until a face from his childhood shows up, and things change between the two. But everything goes south when an unexpected incident upsets his newfound bliss.
Aside from a few draggy, predictable moments in the end, Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal is a colourful and family-friendly love story that doesn't take itself too seriously. Though it momentarily touches upon serious topics like religion and homosexuality, it doesn't explore them in depth. A few laugh-out-loud moments in some places ease things up a bit. Dileesh Pothan appears in a hilarious cameo as a rich dude who mistakes Sanjay for a pimp. There is another interesting high profile cameo in the form of director Lal Jose.
Anoop is often criticised for writing fancy, pretentious-sounding dialogues (laced with English) that annoy some viewers, and I'm not going to lie, there are a few such lines here, too--naturally, considering the fact that Sanjay and Anjali appreciate the finer things in life--but Anoop is at his relaxed best here, indulging in a healthy dose of self-deprecatory humour that works to the film's advantage. It's these warm and funny moments that hold the film together.