Honey Bee 2: Celebrations begins where Honey Bee ends. Honey Bee 2 also ends where Honey Bee ends. It's not as confusing as it sounds. The sequel, featuring the same cast, does not offer you a continuation of events that we saw in the hit film. The movie, directed by Jean Paul Lal aka Lal Jr, expands a portion that did not need much explanation in the first film.
And, we are okay with that. It is in fact interesting to know the director's take on an untold scenario which the audience comprehended for themselves in the first film.
In Kottayam, the morning show is at 10.45 am in Abhilash theater. The movie starts rolling before a packed house amid loud cheers. The crowd is a slice of Honey Bee fans who celebrated the 2013 film for its hilarious, eventful tale of friendship and love, sprinkled with an ample dose of booze every now and then.
The excitement is in the air; everyone is hoping for a fun ride and are prepared to laugh their stomachs out. One can't wait for the celebrations to unfurl. There's applause when the lead pair of Sebastian (Asif Ali) and Angel (Bhavana) appear on screen. But the cheering is thunderous for Sebastian's friend gang comprising Baburaj's Ferno, Sreenath Bhasi's Abu and Balu Varghese's Ambrose; quite understandable, given the fact that the trio generated heaps of laughter in Honey Bee's first outing.
The first 30 minutes pass by and we learn the movie's thread – Sebastian wants his family by his side for his marriage with Angel. At the same time, he does not want to 'hurt' his well-earning advocate parents Thampi Antony (Sreenivasan) and Ruby (Lena) by telling them that he fell in love with a girl after he walked out of his home following a heated argument. He is also unsure how his 'civilized' family will take to Angel's unruly elder brothers led by Michael Punyalan (Lal). A plan is then drawn with the help of Punyalans. It leads to a tangle of lies, frustrating the characters and troubling the relationships involved.
A few giggles here and there but we are still waiting – yes, we're still waiting for that fun ride. We are also curious to see if there's more than what we see in the plot that is unraveling. No, Sebastian, the film's hero, is going through a conflict and we wait. The movie enters its second half.
And it takes a steep fall there. A narrow story thread is stretched beyond its elasticity and we reach a hazy situation from which the return to glory looks so difficult.
Sebastian is frustrated and avoids Angel, she has no clue but is hurt by her fiance's behavior; Thampi, Ruby and Michael are trying to find out what's going on and talk it out and we, the audience, are going mad. There's binge drinking throughout and what comes out of it is not laughs, but just riotous noise. Oh, what about the trio of Ferno, Abu and Ambro who were supposed to tickle our funny bones? They are either busy picking up guests for the wedding or running around the town finding cooks for the wedding party or serving drinks. It's disappointing to see how underused they are in the movie.
Asif Ali, who enjoys majority of the screen space in the movie, fails to convince us with his character's emotions. Skilled actors Sreenivasan, Lena and Lal have nothing much to do. Bhavana's Angel is possibly the only character in the movie that the audience can connect with and she does her job neatly. She looks fabulous on the screen too.
Even though the scenarios test our patience, about 2 hours into the movie, we still hope for a revival but all that we're left with is a mess from where there is no point of return.
By the time Honey Bee 2: Celebrations reaches its 'happy' ending, we are bewildered: where are the celebrations, bro? That brief untold portion Lal Jr and crew expanded from Honey Bee – that was better left unsaid.
Onmanorama rating: 2 out of 5