12 December 2016 | nairtejas
Thoppil Koppan. ♦ Grade F
Director Johny Antony is best known for making CID Moosa, the 2003 hit film which reinvented slapstick comedy in Mollywood. More than a decade later, this comedy drama confirms that he's run out of ideas.
Thoppil Joppan (Mammootty) is a middle-aged unmarried man who lives with his extended family. In his adolescent years, he was interested in marrying Annie (Andrea Jeremiah), but didn't have the courage to ask her hand in marriage or the requisite qualities (read: a job) to provide for her. As a result, he skips town and goes to Mumbai in search of better work opportunities. Many years later, he returns to find that Annie has agreed to marry another man. A crestfallen Joppan resorts to drinking, and vows to never consider marriage. And, one more thing - he is also a Kabaddi player.
After a series of useless sequences that do not contribute to the story has finished playing in front of your eyes, the narrative begins to market Joppan as an altruistic humanitarian who has a heart of gold and wants to help everybody. So much that when damsel in distress Maria (Mamta Mohandas) seeks his help to elope with her soda-glass- wearing boyfriend, he chivalrously obliges. The setting is familiar, and reminds one of both Vipul Shah's Namastey London (2007) and Rajkumar Santhoshi's Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009).
It is basically a bunch of adults fooling around. Adults who drink all day and vomit all night. The story (if I can call it that) tries to be straightforward with its intentions, but discloses too much information. Further, for a film which relies on a sport to tell a story, it flouts too many rules. And I am not even talking about the degree of fouls the characters execute while playing Kabaddi. It's a sham, it's a gimmick, it's ludicrous. Seeing thespians like Mammootty and other actors fooling around in a film which does not even have a story is heartbreaking.
The attempt at comedy, which could have saved the film, is poor. The jokes are not funny or have been already sampled elsewhere. The slapstick is cringe-worthy, and so is the performance by certain actors. Salim Kumar is the only person who puts up a good show, so I'm not going to talk about other cast members. Even Mamta Mohandas looked like she has lost her marbles, and was doing the film just because Mammootty is in it. She disappoints for the first time in her film career as she does a character that she cannot handle.
With zero production value, the film looks like it was made hastily, so that it could be released along with Vysakh's "Pulimurugan". No prizes for guessing who won, but watching a heavy man chase tigers mistaken to be leopards is at least a bit fun than watching aged people embracing each other in a game and defying gravity and logic while at it.
Thoppil Joppan is a joke on the viewers, and to sustain such a foolhardy film will require special powers, like a membership in a Mammootty Fans Association.
BOTTOM LINE: Johny Antony's "Thoppil Joppan" is an unenthusiastic feature which was made only to cash in on the fame of its lead actor. All other reasons are just dust in the air. Skim through when it airs on TV.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES