MamaKiki review: This comedy well runs dry
MamaKiki is a middling feel-good comedy that makes us smile, if not laugh
The title song of Zee5 Original MamaKiki pretty much tells us what it is all about. It is a comedy in which characters have quite a few light-hearted stories to share, but they are specifically not out to convey a message. Three of four friends — Madhu (Preetha Anandan), Mani (Ramesh Thilak), Kiranthi (Maanas Chavali) and Kishore (Dev) — meet five years after completing college and discuss their lives. The makers have seemingly arrived at the quirky title from the first syllable of the lead characters' names.
What initially unfolds as a feel-good film with breezy music eventually loses steam due to slack writing. Also, while this isn't the kind of film that requires strong performances, some actors fail to deliver even the little that is expected of them. Only a very few performances, like those of Ramesh Thilak, Preetha Anandan, and Amrutha Srinivasan (as Rita miss), are noteworthy.
Directors: G Radhakrishnan, Vadivel, Sree Karthick, Karthik Siva and Sameer Bharat Ram
Cast: Preetha Anandan, Ramesh Thilak, Maanas Chavali, Dev, Nalan Kumarasamy, Jayaditya Kang, Amrutha Srinivasan
Streaming on: Zee5
It is hard to laugh at some jokes. And the film that initially says it does not want to deliver a message, ends with a rather unnecessary monologue. You would think a film helmed by five directors — G Radhakrishnan, Vadivel, Sree Karthick, Karthik Siva and Sameer Bharat Ram — would be better. But, perhaps, this was a case of too many cooks.
MamaKiki sets off with the narrative of Madhu. As the story progresses, the narrative is shifted to the other lead characters and towards the climax, it goes back to Madhu. Based on each character’s recollection of past and happier times, the film can be split into four parts. The first part about Madhu’s search for a groom has comedy that is often in bad taste but it remains mostly engaging. Kranthi’s storyline about a psychologically-disturbed character involving a comedy of errors and a surprise twist had the potential for much more. It falls short mostly due to unconvincing performances and lacklustre screenplay.
Mani’s plot in the long-delayed film might have stood out a couple of years ago when it was conceived. But the comic story of an engineer aspiring to be a filmmaker has become too cliched now. Director Nalan Kumarasamy also makes a short stint as an actor in this part. There is very little to say about Nalan’s role, except that he has matched the acting prowess of most others in the film. Subtle digs at other films and Ramesh Thilak’s comic timing and delivery steer us through this part. There are scenes with discussions on finer filmmaking and sharper editing even as what we see on screen ironically lacks in all these aspects. The technical quality of the 1-hour-37-minute film makes it seem like a stretched beginner’s short film.
Of the four parts, Kishore’s childhood story works best. The storyline of the kid, played by Jayaditya Kang, effortlessly tops it all on the strength of innocence and nostalgia. Rather than being shoved down through dialogues, here, the comedy is rooted in the innocent misconceptions of a little boy. At a time when films are loaded with emotional turmoil, social or political messages, and philosophies, a plot as simple as this one, which is still quite engaging, comes as a breath of fresh air.
Overall, though weighed down by its flaws, MamaKiki is a middling feel-good comedy that makes us smile, if not laugh.