Mannar Mathai Returns: Relive the Madness
By Aswathy K | Express Features | Published: 21st January 2014 11:15 AM |
Mannar Mathai of Urvashi Theatres and his partners in crime Gopalakrishnan and Balakrishnan had been tickling Malayalis’ funny bones since 1989 when director duo- Siddique-Lal came out with ‘Ramji Rao Speaking’, a cult movie that redefined comedy in Mollywood.
And again in 1995 the Innocent-Mukesh-Sai Kumar trio worked out their magical chemistry through ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking’. This Siddique-Lal venture again made Malayalis laugh their guts out. Now, 19 years down the line, they are back with a bang with Mamas’ ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking 2’.
Naturally, expectations are sky-high as we wonder whether the trio will create the same magic with their subtle humour. “Both ‘Ramji Rao Speaking’ and ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking’ have set the benchmark for comedy in movies. Every single dialogue and situation in the films still stay vivid in the heart of Malayalis.
That is what makes this an even bigger challenge, as we have to match up to the standards set by the these two movies earlier,” says Mamas who made his directorial debut with ‘Pappi Appacha’.
Unlike in the earlier versions of the story, the trio too has evolved with time. Mannar Mathai’s (Innocent) Urvashi Theatres has given way to Urvashi Tours and Travels and new characters come into the trio’s life which lead to some unexpected twists and turns. “Both the earlier films narrated a thriller in the backdrop of humour. This is also a thriller in every way with tension and comedy going hand-in-hand. The movie kicks off with the entry of new characters and incidents connected to their new venture,” says Mamas who has penned the script.
Ask him about the challenges, he says: “Expectations are high from all quarters. I can’t mar the works of the legendary filmmaker duo Siddique-Lal. While scripting it, I was sure not to tamper with their original characterisation. No new-gen flavours have been added. It is more like what has happened to Mannar Mathai, Balakrishnan (Sai Kumar) and Gopalakrishnan (Mukesh) over these 19 years. Though they have grown in age, at heart they are still the same.”
The director assures that ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking 2’ will be a laugh riot. “Numerous scripts were discussed but this movie worked out only when he hit on the apt thread. As soon as scripting was finished, I narrated it to Siddique-Lal who encouraged me to go ahead with the film,” says Mamas.
The movie also offers a reunion with few other characters from ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking’. Actor Vijayaraghavan who donned the role of the shady but comical don ‘Ramji Rao’ will reprise in the sequel. Biju Menon and Janardhanan who essayed the role of Garvasees Asan too revisit you in this latest flick.
Along with them, new characters who will take the film forward are Aparna Gopinath, Basil, Shammi Thilakan, Kalabhavan Shajon and Niyas Backer. “As in the previous versions in which the entry of a girl leads to various twists and turns in the trio’s life, this time also the fun ride begins with the entry of female lead,” he says.
‘Mannar Mathai Speaking 2’ is produced under the banner of SJM Entertainments by Sibi Thottupuram and Jobi Mundamattam. They had earlier produced films such as ‘Kili Poyi’ and ‘Honey Bee’. Vishnu Narayan cranks the camera, music is by Rahul Raj. The film will hit screens on January 24.