Tsunami Movie Review: Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the first in Indian cinema when a father-son duo officially share directing credits for a movie, as Lal and his son Lal Jr do so for Tsunami. Both are formidable directors in their individual standing – Lal giving us two hilarious sequels of In Harihar Nagar, while Lal Jr made the cult Honeybee and the highly engaging Driving License. Sadly, the film they came together to make – Tsunami – is something neither of them shouldn’t have taken credit for, individually or together. Saajan Bakery Since 1962 Movie Review: Aju Varghese’s Film, Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Takes Its Own Sweet Time To Heat Its Oven.
Tsunami released in theatres on March 11 and has now found its way to Neestream, a streaming platform that got a lot of popularity for The Great Indian Kitchen and to some extent, for Thirike as well. The movie is an adult comedy filled with double entendres and suggestive situations that somehow managed to get an U certificate from Censor Board, which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of Tsunami.
So in the beginning, we follow the affluent Eepachan (Innocent) and his family, including his loud-mouthed wife Jacientha and daughter Anna (Aradhya Ann), as they travel in a luxury bus to Goa for sightseeing. In the same bus, there is Bobby (Balu Varghese), the son of another affluent businessman Francis (Suresh Krishna), who is going to Goa to study at the seminary.
A freak accident at a public bathroom leaves Anna unconscious and Bobby, embarrassed and beaten up Anna’s mother, as he tries to flee away before he is caught and labelled as a pervert. He returns home dropping his seminary plans, much to the surprise of his parents, his married best friend Antappan (Aju Varghese) and his uncle who is also a priest, Father Sylvester (Mukesh). He also has in possession Anna’s phone.
And just like all silly indulgences rich people do, Francis now wants his son to get married and settle down. ‘Cos maybe even he thinks that this irresponsible, good-for-nothing fella can’t really do anything on his own. After some hesitation, Bobby agrees to get hitched with some cajoling from Antappan and Sylvester, only that he can get to marry the girl who accidentally saw his penis. Yes, this guy is that sad. The Great Indian Kitchen Movie Review: Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu’s Social Drama Is Brilliant!
Also, let me remind you that he still has Anna’s phone, and despite them being rich and influential, Anna’s family never bothers to get it traced. Ah, some more rich things…
Anyway, before we know it, Bobby and Anna get married, even before they even have a decent conversation about themselves. How I know this… well, on their wedding night, Antappan tells Eepachan that he has been married only for two months. So imagine, from that bus incident to Anna’s first alliance getting cancelled to them getting engaged and later married, all that happens within less than two months.
Apart from this time-skipping logic, this strange relationship dynamic basically robs Anna of any kind character depth and ends up being just a PYT with low sugar issues. Otherwise what could explain her frequent fainting?
Moving ahead, on the wedding night, Sylvester reminds Bobby, using an exaggerated piles story, that though Anna and her family may not have recognised him yet, she might do so if he pulls down his pants. While we may scoff at the silliness of this suggestion, our clueless hero pushes himself deeper into a pit to avoid having sex with his new bride, that leads to his entire family casting aspersions on his errr… manhood.
Watch the Trailer:
I have no qualms with adult comedies, and I have enjoyed quite a few as guilty pleasures. But the problem with Tsunami is not that it makes jokes that are of the below-the-belt variety, but because they make one d*ck joke premise stretch insufferably long enough to last two hours. There are a few jokes that managed to make me chuckle, and the actors go in with the flow well, even if most of the cue given to them is to act out loud.
But these merely create ripples unlike what its eponymous title suggests. The comedy bits are mostly a let-down; Mukesh’s frequent ‘suna’ jokes were not even funny to begin with, but still get dragged to the end.
The writing is a huge let-down, as the film jumps from one farcical situation to another, from one bad characterisation to another. You will not find a single character worth rooting for here, especially its two lead characters. The only character that actually managed to evince some sort of interest was Antappan’s no-nonsense wife Judi, but after a couple of initial appearances, she strangely vanishes from the rest of the film.
So while the writing barely manages to pass muster, Tsunami is further letdown by some very problematic turns. In an era where Malayalam cinema is praised for being progressive, the kind of sexist and misogynistic jokes – mostly uttered by Innocent, Mukesh and Aju Varghese’s characters – that the film goes for, make the industry take a couple of steps back. How in this era are we okay with characters casually discussing dowry and even agreeing for it without repercussions?
Why is peeking into a ladies’ changing room still considered funny in these times? Or getting a girl’s picture morphed onto a sleazy photo and get her marriage broken? Or making distasteful jokes on erectile dysfunction and transgenders, and thinking you can get away it? I had to go back and check if Omar Lulu had hijacked the movie at some point, though the end-credit cameo of Lal and Lal Jr say otherwise. Now I am actually curious to know the kind of jokes the father-son duo crack during their many drinking sessions.
– A Couple of Gags Do Work…
– … But Otherwise A Tasteless Gag Stretched Beyond Believability
Tsunami is purely for those who still has a stomach for puerile jokes; but even for those, some sense of patience is needed as the film heaves and puffs its way to the finishing mark. Tsunami is streaming on Neestream.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Mar 29, 2021 01:41 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).