Half a decade since Jibu Jacob's Vellimoonga spurred waves of laughter, the filmmaker has again teamed up with Biju Menon to bring out a full-fledged family comedy entertainer, 'Adyarathri.'
Manoharan (Biju Menon,) who takes up the role of a marriage broker by quirk of fate, slowly emerges as the official match-maker in his small, beautiful village of Mullakkara in Alappuzha.
For the villagers of Mullakkara, matches are not made in heaven but in Manoharan's mind.
Manoharan sketches a girl as soon as she is born with the aim of charting out a suitable marriage proposal for her.
For the same reason, he is the patron of arrange marriages and hence a nightmare to lovers in town.
Everything goes well until Manoharan's calculations go awry in case of Aswathy aka Achu, played by Anaswara Rajan, who is more like a family member to him. The movie revolves around how Manoharan sorts out Aswathy's complicated relationship issues.
Anaswara Rajan has, as always, done justice to her character.
The movie captures the two extremes of her charming looks.While she stuns the audience as a dashing, urban college girl of Bengaluru in the first half, Anaswara transforms to a rustic, village lass in the second half, flaunting sarees, loose hair and round bindis.
Aju Varghese is another lively presence in the screen. Having played the character of 'Kunjumon Muthalali' a successful young businessman of the village who dreams about marrying his childhood crush Aswathy (Anaswara,) Aju Varghese has portrayed some moving romantic sequences with his subtle humorous touch.
The Bahubali-styled song showing Aju and Anaswara in royal looks kicked a loud round of laughter in the movie halls.
Along with rich situational comedies, the movie has recreated some instances, photographs and dialogues which went viral on social media. The wedding photographer who hung himself upside down on a tree-trunk, Manju Warrier's popular dialogue from Odiyan 'Kurach Kanji edukkatte?' etc are some among them.
Actor Anu Sithara has made a cameo appearance in the movie which turns out to be crucial in the story-line. 'June' movie fame Sarjano Khalid, Vijayaraghavan and Pauly Valsan have played major character roles in the movie. Pauly Valsan unleashes another shade of her acting talent as a strong antagonist in 'Adyarathri.'
Among the row of popular actors in the movie are 'Uppum Mulakum' fame Biju Sopanam and 'Karikku' fame Sneha Babu. Sneha Babu's character, which is passive throughout the first half, turns out to a be pivotal in the second half.
Music has played a major role in determining the mood of the movie. Bijibal's magical touch has made certain untimely songs interesting and engaging.
Sreejith Nair, who donned the camera, has captured the picturesque village, surrounded by the back-waters of Alappuzha.
Right from Biju Menon's entry scene to the carousing DJ party taking place inside a college campus in Bengaluru, the camera has played a serious role in establishing the premises.
Biju Menon has flaunted a typical marriage-broker look wearing kasavu mundu, kurtas and a neatly folded kasavu shawl on his shoulder.
Manoharan says in the movie that a marriage-broker experiences great satisfaction and relief on the night of a well-arranged marriage he conducts. 'Adyarathri', the movie's name, is indeed a marriage-broker's happy night after conducting a marriage.
In a nutshell, a tablespoon of Vellimoonga, a pinch of 'Rakshadhikari Baiju (oppu,') a sprinkling of Alappuzha's rural beauty, one 'full' Aju Varghese and the indispensable 'Keep calm and let Biju Menon handle it' climax is the recipe of Adyarathri. It also thows light on matter that a bride's consent is the most important factor when it comes to an arranged marriage.
The movie is indeed a different pick in Biju Menon's career after a haitus. It is a full-fledged entertainer with comedy, humour, suspense, romance. It is also a touching family drama.