‘Arabiyum Ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum in Oru Marubhoomikatha’ (Malayalam)
Cast: Mohanlal, Mukesh, Bhavana, Lakshmi Rai
Right in front of the delegates and august gathering at the valedictory function of the 16th edition of IFFK in Thiruvananthapuram, the Minister for Cinema proudly announced: “Priyadarsan had made films over coffee and cigarettes sitting in the coffee house here.” OMG! What a revelation! It was on the same day that the latest offering of Priyadarsan - ‘Arabiyum Ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum in Oru Marubhoomikatha’ - had hit the screens. Half of the delegates rushed to the nearby theatres to see the magical film that is made over a cup of coffee.
Cut to AOPMN. Madhavan Nair (Mohanlal) is a trusted accountant to his boss - the Arabi (Shakthi Kapoor). Not at all greedy and living happily with his earnings, our Nair one day meets a charming girl, Meenakshi (Lakshmi Rai). There are so many ways for winning a guy’s heart and our heroine knows that the best among those is to wash the hero’s coat. Romance! M G Sreekumar is coming up with his number here (Chembaka Vallikalil).
Nair’s love is soon followed by despondency. Again, the coat-washing by the heroine is playing the spoilsport between Nair and Meenakshi. A love-lorn Nair roams through the streets of Dubai. And then, he arrived.
The Ottakathalayan - Abdu (Mukesh).
Malayalis are notorious for drinking too much during times of happiness as well as sorrow. Madhavettan is no different. He gulps down an entire wine shop and is soon lost in the desert with Abdu. There they save one kidnapped girl Eleena (Bhavana). Do not expect any love track again. Things are attaining a serious status. Together, they plan to loot some money, just for a change!
The majority of the scenes, as well as situations, have a striking resemblance to some of the earlier Priyadarsan movies - made over plenty of cups of coffee. But at many places, the film fails to create the charm, the hallmark of Priyan movies. The viewers who still cherish the hilarious moments and wonderful chemistry between Mohanlal and Mukesh, that worked so very well in ‘Boeing Boeing’ and ‘Vandanam,’ hardly find anything impressive in AOPMN. When a celebrated director like Priyadarsan takes the director’s seat in Malayalam after a long gap, expectations are bound to be high, especially when he teams up with Mohanlal. Forget the script, the team could at least have been sure of what they were going to do before starting the movie. If so, the fate of AOPMN might have been different.
Back to that significant cup of coffee. After watching the movie, perhaps the same thing was in everyone’s mind. ‘The director was sitting over a cup of coffee and cigarettes at the coffee house in Thiruvananthapuram. The shooting was in Dubai. Naturally, his craft is not evident in any of the scenes.’ Sorry Priyan Sir, this time the coffee magic did not work.