Mammootty in Ganagandharvan, directed by Ramesh Pisharody

If one thought films such as Love In Singapore, Rajadhi Raja and Pulikaaran Staara had set the bar really high for a trainwreck that starred Mammootty, we’ve now got what will be the new Gold Standard in this department. Directed by Ramesh Pisharody, Ganagandharvan is a film so tackily made and so badly written that North Korean prisons would decree it too lethal for their execution chambers. In fact, calling it a poorly-made soap opera would be an insult to both the art form of opera and the bar of Lifebuoy I call soap.

It tries to tell you the story of Kalasadhan Ullas, a fading ganamela singer who was popular back when mullets were in and for that two-week period when Hasan Jehangir became a pop music sensation. But, Ullas has refused to change with the times, choosing instead to repeat his songs and his style, even in a period when youngsters prefer bands and DJs to the ganamela. However, given the old-fashioned good soul he is, he tries to help out an absolute stranger migrate to the US, and lands in a convoluted mess he just can’t get out of.

But the thing is, nothing ever comes together. You catch yourself laughing out loud at the film’s ridiculous twists and sentimental moments, but you’re almost in tears when you learn what passes off as comedy in this film. I can’t remember another film that chooses to employ so many leading actors without a single person making any sort of an impression. Even in terrible films, you at least get an idea of what the makers had in mind, or that one scene or moment that may have worked better in another film. But, there’s nothing of that sort in Ganagandharvan, and it only gets worse when the film morphs into a courtroom drama with the judge delivering a sermon on women misusing laws to honeytrap innocent men. Apparently #MenToo is a burning issue in an industry where the #MeToo accused roam freely and continue to get work.

Writing anymore would mean taking longer to write this film’s review than the makers did to come up with its screenplay, and I’ve only taken 20 minutes to do this.

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