Lava Kusha: Entertaining, despite a flawed plot
Makes for a one-time watch, thanks to the great chemistry between Neeraj Madhav and Aju Varghese, whose comic timing salvages the movie
Thirty minutes into Gireesh Mano's Lava Kusha, you are reminded of the hit formula that reigned in the 90s. Two goofballs with little or no money, many hilarious situations and a crime thrown into the mix. Lava Kusha uses the same ingredients, more or less. Naturally, Neeraj Madhav's debut as a scriptwriter doesn't feel novel. Yet, it makes for a one-time watch, thanks to the great chemistry between its lead characters played by Neeraj Madhav and Aju Varghese. And, it is the duo's comic timing that salvages the movie, thereby concealing the many flaws in the plot.
Director: Gireesh Mano
Cast: Biju Menon, Neeraj Madhav, Aju Varghese
Labelled a spy comedy, Lava Kusha has two simpletons in the lead. With no solid jobs, both bond over desperation and common dreams. On their way back to Kerala from Chennai, they stumble on an undercover cop, played by Biju Menon. What ensues is a comedy of errors, following which the duo (Lava and Kusha) decide to help the police as undercover cops.
Lava Kusha follows a comic book pattern of story-telling. The characters are goofy, the plot cartoonish and never once does it intend to be taken seriously. While this should have created ample opportunities for slapstick humour, Lava Kusha doesn't exactly incite a laugh riot. That's because many sequences are concocted for the sake of humour, serving nothing to the purpose of story-telling. These attempts at humour never fully blend into the narrative, like the scenes where Lava and Kusha disguise themselves as trainers to gain access into an air-hostess training institute. While we appreciate the unrealistic nature of the script, it is quite a task to digest all of it.
But, then Lava Kusha does benefit from the Aju-Neeraj combo. Both look very convincing in their acts and the comic timing definitely helps. The first half of the film entirely hinges on them, and both carry it with ease. Another highlight has to be Neeraj Madhav's dancing skills, easily making him one of the best in Malayalam cinema.
While Biju Menon plays a significant character as a cop, he doesn't exactly don his comic avatar. One sees more of him in the second part, where the movie transforms into a thriller. In fact, there are quite a lot of plot twists in the second part, making the narrative convoluted.
While Lava Kusha isn't exactly a flawless attempt, it manages to entertain, that is if one can overlook glaring flaws in the plot.