Recycled 90s flick peppered with bad acting and bland humour
Mr. & Ms. Rowdy is the kind of film that puts you in a ruminative overdrive. It makes you swing back to the 90s, superimpose other faces on its cast and scowl at the inanity of this grossly outdated adventure. It’s a storyline you have seen umpteen times, in multiple languages, and director Jeethu Joseph simply recycles it with some bad acting and oodles of bland humour. The film gives out unpromising vibes from the very beginning when you see a bunch of rowdy kids filling the screen with stones in their hands.
Mr. & Ms. Rowdy is the story of Appu, an orphan-with-a-past, and his band of buddies who struggle to survive as the local quotation gang. One fine day, a young girl enters their life and what follows is a festival of clichés. It’s so obvious that the lead pair will soon find true love and the man, along with his friends, will slay dragons for his beloved. But the biggest flaw of the film is not its utter predictability, but the way it fails to entertain despite its desperate attempts to evoke laughter. Comic one-liners, endless banter, slapstick, and Tom-and-Jerry situations do not save it from a lack of freshness. The bromance part is equally drab as it completely fails to light up the screen even for a moment.
The script belongs to another era and it reminds you of some old Malayalam films and actors like Mukesh who used to ace the role of that jobless youngster trying his hands at everything. But in Mr. & Ms. Rowdy, everything from Appu’s tiled home in the middle of nowhere to the tea shop where villagers sit and gossip reek of artificiality. No character or location makes you feel that they belong.
Even with his muscle mass and moustache, Kalidasan fails to morph into a ruffian. He is often like an adolescent trapped in an adult body and the same dissonance is there in his expressions. While Aparna Balamurali repeats herself as the street-smart lead lady, Appu’s gang — the foursome — is a case study in bad comedy. You don’t also find the technical part engaging, mainly because of the air of ennui and antiquity. They call it a comedy, but it seems this time the joke is on the audience.