Theeppori Benny (Malayalam)
Nowadays comedy films are being aggressively marketed and made in a way to woo audiences in theatres. Theeppori Benny is one such film.
In their maiden venture, director duo Raajesh Mohan-Joji Thomas adds more flavours to the story with the sole aim of entertaining the audience.
The movie tries to explore the differences between younger and older generations, especially in political issues. It is also an engaging political satire. However, it focuses only on the Left parties, like most Malayalam films.
As the name suggests, Theeppori Benny is the story of Benny (Arjun Ashokan) and his relationship with his father Chettayi (Jagadeesh), a communist party leader.
Benny is a government job aspirant and takes every exam. He is a self-oriented person and is not on good terms with his father as the latter does nothing for the family.
Benny’s mother and sisters also dislike Chettayi who, however, is adored by the villagers since he helped them when needed.
Chettayi is portrayed as a political leader who has a solution for every problem in the universe — even the Russia-Ukraine war!
A major twist in the story comes when Benny gets involved in an issue where he is targeted by political parties that are his father’s rivals.
At a particular point, Benny joins his father’s party, but for his own gain. Also, he resolves the problems of common people and wins their trust.
This leads to an ego clash between Benny and his father. How they maintain their relationship which forms the crux of the movie and is to be watched in theatres.
Comedy is the USP of Theeppori Benny. If translated, the title means “Firebrand Benny”. Benny uses this hashtag on social media to address the social issues in his village.
The fire dance by Benny and his friends is one of the major scenes in the film and it is enjoyable.
Situational comedy with one-liners works decently well and saves the film till the first half. However, the story takes its time to set in the first 30 minutes.
In the second half, the transformation of Benny into a political party member is portrayed well. His scenes with his father are captivating.
Mohammed Rafi and Shaju Sreedhar’s combination works in most parts.
Shaju Sreedhar as Manthan Baby is a surprise package. His mannerisms as a lazy and foolish person made the audience erupt in laughter in theatres.
Jagadeesh as Chettayi delivers a subtle performance. He seems to be trying different roles of late.
Arjun Ashokan as Benny is impressive. He excels in comedy and is here to stay.
Femina George appears as Ponnila, a Left supporter and the love interest of Benny. She is a bold woman and her equation with Benny is good. But there aren’t many love sequences though.
No other women characters have much prominence in the flick. The directors could have worked in this area.
Theeppori Benny is a light-hearted movie that deals with the father-son relationship. It also delves into local politics but fails to accommodate all stakeholders (political parties).
(Views expressed here are personal.)