Director duo Sudheer Manu’s Kabadi Kabadi is perhaps aimed at those who go for mindless comedies. But even by those standards, it is a story which doesn’t quite fit in with the current times.
In fact the backdrop of the story itself is reminiscent of films like Makkal Mahatmyam released in the early nineties. And believe it or faint, the same hero Mukesh played almost a similar role in that film as well!
The whole first half of the film is devoted to establish the rivalry between step brothers Vijayan (Mukesh) and Madhavan Kutty (Kalabhavan Mani). The relevance of the sport in the film’s title is the excitement in winning the trophy given in their father’s name.
With a pair of idiotic cronies each by their sides, who are devoid of common sense and gets beaten up by virtually everyone in their attempt to cook up some laughs, the story moves on without a definite direction.
Here comes Rambha then, full of oomph, in a double role. The two girls, played by Rambha herself, come to the village with their dad, a retired judge. The girls are evidently desperate to get hitched or why should they fall in for the two heroes, who barely suit them in any way, almost at the first glance itself!!
The judge is soon targeted by some unknown men and once, he even manages to evade a bullet by a whisker. Perhaps this twist in the tale was needed to add some more suspense and action to this slow paced saga.
If you thought the surprises in the story ended there, you couldn’t be more wrong. The two heroes now get posted as sub-inspectors, simultaneously. As Kabadi Kabadi comes to a close after some more confusion, high voltage drama, song n dances and the routine tamashas, you heave a sigh of relief.
Still, in all fairness, it may be a watchable film for its target crowd. And perhaps it could have been even better if it had two younger heroes. Suraj Venjarammood often takes over as the key factor and he manages to do a pretty good job with his funny one-liners and mannerisms.
It is perhaps a role that would have suited Mukesh perfectly a decade or more before, but by now he looks older and clearly not at ease. Kalabhavan Mani, who had carved out a niche for himself in some notable roles playing the lead, shows how he lost out on the glory after a while. Rambha has to look like a svelte temptress and that she does, quite easily
. The old fashioned jokes, choreography and even the music are pointers that give a clear inkling about the problems with Kabadi Kabadi. That it has come out at least some twenty good years late.
Mukesh, Kalabhavan Mani, Rambha