Meeku Maathrame Cheptha Movie Review : Tharun Bhascker makes a solid impression in a feeble comedy
Meeku Maathrame Cheptha follows the journey of two youngsters as they race against time to stop a video from going viral, with an underlying commentary about how privacy can’t be taken for granted in the digital era
castTharun Bhascker Dhaassyam, Anasuya Bharadwaj, Vani Bhojan, Abhinav Gomatam
In Shammeer Sultan’s Meeku Maathrame Cheptha, which follows the journey of two youngsters as they race against time to stop a video from going viral, there’s an underlying commentary about how privacy can’t be taken for granted in the digital era. This feels all the more relevant today, considering how the trend of leaking private photos and videos on the internet as a form of taking revenge has only been growing all over the world. But Shameer Sultan doesn’t go too deep into the social and psychological impact of such leaked videos. By turning the whole subject into a laugh out loud comedy, one could argue that the film is a satire on how people, in general, don't really do anything to prevent such acts. Perhaps, that’s the only way to look at this film from a bird’s eye view, because if you look at it as just another comedy film, it falls well short of offering an engaging experience.
The film is about Rakesh (Tharun Bhascker), a VJ working at a TV channel, who falls in love with a doctor, Steffy (Vani Bhojan). The latter demands honesty from Rakesh if he intends to get married to her, but Rakesh’s impulsive nature stops him from telling her the truth at times. He stammers a lot when he lies, but he does everything he can to make their relationship work. However, three days before his wedding, Rakesh’s life turns upside down when a private video, featuring him and another girl, is leaked. As the video goes viral, it sets Rakesh and his best friend Kamu (Abhinav Gomatam) on a crazy ride to set things right.
It’s interesting to note how Shameer Sultan chooses to open the story. Even before he dives into the story behind how a video went viral, he introduces a few characters who are curious to know the details about who was in the video and how they ended up solving the problem. It says a lot about our general sense of curiosity and voyeurism, and how nothing is truly private once we are all connected via the internet. When Kamu (Abhinav) tells them the story of Rakesh and Steffy, and the private video featuring his best friend Rakesh, who ends up sleeping on the day of his honeymoon, it quickly turns into a joke about the lack of virility and masculinity on the occasion. Rakesh is portrayed as a laughing stock in the whole scenario and his agony that he’s going to be caught, even when there’s a clear danger that his wedding might be called off, is also turned into a joke. We are never told if Rakesh is happy with his relationship, which would have made us root for his desperation even more. Even his girlfriend, Steffy (Vani Bhojan) is portrayed as a control freak, who has to be appeased all the time, whereas all she ever wanted from her partner was honesty and truth. But then, like its story and characters, the film doesn’t take anything seriously at all. So, the lead character, Rakesh keeps telling her one lie after another to cover his tracks because he fears that she might misunderstand him. It’s one gag after another, one joke after another until you begin to realise how flimsy and tiresome it all seems after a point.
But in its best moments, Meeku Maathrame Cheptha introduces us to a different side of its lead actor, Tharun Bhascker, who makes a solid impression in his role. His agony, even when it looks funny, is spot on and Tharun fits into the role like a glove. His banter with Abhinav Gomatam, who’s equally good in his role, is a joy to watch throughout the film. Some of the dialogues in the film, co-written by Shameer and Tharun, also take a sly dig at the norms in society, when two people from different religions want to get married. And if there’s one thing which truly stands out in the film, then it’s the breezy nature of conversations and how friends take everything in stride even when things go terribly wrong. The film also has plenty of other actors in key roles; however, quite rarely do we get a sense of who they truly are and why we should empathise with their characters in the story.
At a runtime of just around two hours, Meeku Maathrame Cheptha offers some genuine comic moments, but like everything which goes viral, the story feels like a string of gags (or maybe just one gag where the boy doesn’t want the news to reach his fiance) that keeps repeating over and over again in different settings. There’s a story which Shameer truly wants to say through this film to everyone and then, there’s a story which he tells only you in Meeku Maatrame Cheptha. And one can’t help but feel that the gap between the two is too big to bridge.
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