wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?) - This film would do better as a family watch at home.
A family film that would best be enjoyed as a home-viewing, Molly Aunty Rocks, directed by Ranjith Sankar, is an easy watch because of some fine performances by Revathy and Prithviraj, as well as the supporting cast. The film makes you smile, but not enough to justify a theatre watch.Read more
Continuing the rather puzzling trend of Malayalam films bearing English titles, Ranjith Sankar’s latest film, Molly Aunty Rocks, is a simplistic, occasionally enjoyable film whose primary USP is a set of decent, smile-inducing performances.
Revathy plays Molly, popularly known as Molly Aunty, an NRI who has been living in Kerala for the last two years, with her husband and children still in the US. She’s upright, law-abiding and slightly comical; a bank employee who is progressive in thought and is used to the manner in which things are done ‘by the book’ in the US. Thus, she often gets into tiffs with people who, like all of us here in India, aren’t too worried about doing things the ‘right way’.
Molly Aunty Rocks maintains a feel-good, frothy sense throughout. Molly runs into a bunch of situations and handles them in a manner that is intended to make the audience smile and cheer even. However, one can’t help get the sense that everything has been too sanitized. The characters that one can identify with the most are her family members who have a problem with the way she is, because that is definitely the most likely reaction one would have to a character like Molly. However, there are a number of characters that seem to go out of the way to help her out, which does make one wonder why. One gets the feeling that in a real life situation, it would be strange for a character like her to have so many well-wishers.
The biggest flaw in the film then is its screenplay. The whole set of events that happen in the first half and much of the second half were supposed to build up suspense and end in a revelation that was supposed to clear the audience’s doubts about Molly’s motivations. However, the build-up is so weak that it is only after the revelation occurs that the audience realizes that there was supposed to be a suspense element in the first place. Also, the film seems way too long for its own good. At a time when Malayalam films are clearly trying their best to compete with World cinema, the right pace for a film is absolutely critical for it to truly hold the audience.
As mentioned earlier, the strength of the film lies in the performances. All said and done, Revathy is pitch-perfect. She is one of the finest actresses India has, and her performance here proves it. Prithviraj makes a late entry into the film, but he is excellent. A fine, young actor, he makes the role his own. The supporting cast of the film does a good job.
If only the characters had been fleshed out more, with a lot more attention paid to the little details, along with a sharper screenplay, this film could really have been a good, slice-of-life story of the struggles that one has to go through when up against ‘the system’ in India. However, as it stands, Molly Aunty Rocks isn’t a complete waste of the audience’s time, because there is some amount of fun to be had in the situations and the performances. But it isn’t a must-see by any standard.
This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
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