'Varalaru Mukkiyam' movie review: A stale, tasteless comedy – The New Indian Express

In Varalaru Mukkiyam, Jiiva is once again the quintessential middle-class youngster living a carefree life.
Published: 10th December 2022 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2022 09:18 AM   |  A+A-
A still from ‘Varalaru Mukkiyam’
Jiiva is an actor with excellent comic timing. He has proved it time and again with films like Siva Manasula Sakthi, Nanban, and Endrendrum Punnagai. However, over the past few years, we have seen the films not doing justice to his potential. Sadly, his latest release, Varalaru Mukkiyam is no different. In fact, it is Jiiva’s playfulness and charms that makes the film barely watchable. 

In Varalaru Mukkiyam, Jiiva is once again the quintessential middle-class youngster living a carefree life. His mother is played by… who else but Saranya Ponvannan. There’s also KS Ravikumar as the dad, who constantly reprimands his son for being a wastrel. The core plot (if there’s even one) revolves around a Malayali family, who move into Jiiva’s neighbourhood. You know it’s a Malayali family thanks to the never-ending barrage of stereotypes.
The Malayali family’s patriarch runs a bakery (thankfully, not a tea kadai), he wants only a Dubai marumakan, his daughters wear pattu paavadais all the time, and they wear a chandana kuri (Sandalwood smear) in every single scene… doesn’t matter if they’re in a temple, home, college, or railway station. In a fight scene, we even see the fighters wearing chandana kuri. Why? Because according to the makers, they are Malayalis and they are supposed to sport it all the time. Varalaru Mukkiyam is stuck in the time of Malabar Police, and it is not a compliment at all. 
The writing in Varalaru Mukkiyam is as generic and dated as it can get. But Jiiva’s character Karthik does have some interesting traits. He is self-centered and doesn’t bat an eyelid before putting his dear ones in trouble. Jiiva has a lot of fun playing such roles. Remember, Siva from Siva Manasula Sakthi? There are a lot of similarities between both these characters, but the difference is, the humour was organic in Rajesh’s film. The writing was genuinely entertaining and there were strong supporting acts from actors like Santhanam, Anuya Bhagwat, and Urvashi. Unfortunately in Varalaru Mukkiyam, the onus is completely on Jiiva. VTV Ganesh as the typical hero-sidekick tries a lot, but he is no match to Santhanam. Here, he is a politician with an overpowering sexual urge. Every time there’s an adult joke made, a moaning sound plays in the background. It includes even a scene where someone stresses the need for sex education. It’s unfortunate to see filmmakers resorting to such cheap ideas to elicit laughter.
Varalaru Mukkiyam is essentially a rom-com stuffed with all the standard tropes of the genre. There are two female leads Kashmira Pardeshi and Pragya Nagra who play sisters, and the hero falls for the both of them, and chooses the “prettier” one. After relentless stalking, he somehow wins over the girl, but he gets into a fight when someone stalks and troubles his sister. When a friend points out the hypocrisy, Karthik, says, “Love pannanum da.. intha maathiri irritate panna koodadhu.” Well, it is important to understand the difference between ‘love’ and ‘irritation’ and I so wish the filmmaker understood it too. Varalaru Mukkiyam is a needless reminder of the times when senseless, absurd films were brandished as trendy comedies. A throwback to that era isn’t that important a history to revisit.
Director: Santhosh Rajan
Cast: Jiiva, Kashmira Pardeshi, VTV Ganesh, Saranya Ponvannan
Rating: 1.5/5

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