'Vivaha Bhojanambu' is currently streaming on SonyLiv. Let's find out what are its hits and misses.
Mahesh (Satya) is constantly insulted by his father-in-law (Srikanth Iyengar), who is unable to make peace with the fact that his beautiful daughter (Aarjavee as Anitha) fell in love with the stingy and dark-complexioned Mahesh. A comedy of errors ensues when a nationwide lockdown is imposed in March-April 2020 forces the in-laws and their dozen relatives to stay under Mahesh's roof. Whether the upset father-in-law eventually sees the goodness in Mahesh is what the climax is about.
Nobody would have expected to say it, but Satya has acted in a film where his comedy is the only worthy element. The actor has mostly played insignificant roles in his career, but his career graph started changing with 'Mathu Vadalara'. Satya dons the role of a comical male lead and comes out with flying colours.
Aarjavee doesn't make her presence felt. Her character is under-written and her performance reflects the same. Srikanth Iyengar is able, while Subbaraya Sharma (as his father) is routine. TNR (late) and Sudharshan are sought to be overshadowed by Sundeep Kishan's guest appearance. Frankly, the 'A1 Express' fails at the job. Had the role been played by a comedian, his segment wouldn't have seemed so out of place.
AniVee's music is nothing to write home about. It's not pedestrian, but it is largely unremarkable. The love song, 'ABCD', in the second half sounds like a clone of some Anirudh Ravichander number. In comparison 'Kalyana Vaibhogame' and 'What A Man' are better off.
Mani Kandan's cinematography is commonplace. The humble staging of the film has made the cinematographer's work easy, it seems. The editing department needs to be commended for limiting the run-time to 120 minutes.
In 'Mathu Vadalara', Satya's character renames 'dongathanam' as 'thaskarinchuta'. In 'Vivaha Bhojanambu', he terms his miserly ways as cautious spending so that he doesn't look too silly. This quirk of his character is not exploited thoroughly by the movie. In fact, the stinginess aspect of his funny character is sidelined after a point.
What then is the film about? Director Ram Abbaraju arbitrarily pieces together a set of tracks and tells a non-story of a film. Two of the elements stick out like a sore thumb: One of them has to do with a Rapid Antigen test going wrong in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The other one has to do with Nellore Prabha (Sundeep Kishan), a mentally ill ambulance driver. These two elements make the film look more rudderless than it already is. The Nellore Prabha track is staged like a big-hero intro, where Kishan dances to a beat. Why his character takes over and why the screenplay dumps Srikanth Iyengar & Co. is a puzzle.
To be fair to the film, the first 30-40 minutes is watchable (if not outright enjoyable). The problem begins from the pre-interval block. The second half is thrown out of gear by a series of unrelated gags.
The climax is on the lines of stale movies that conveniently make the hero the only option for the most mean-minded character. Let's not talk about it for the sake of saving spoilers. Suffice to say that the climax is rudimentary and lacks even a single memorable line worth its salt.
You will need a SonyLiv subscription and a hell lot of patience to watch 'Vivaha Bhojanambu'.