Director: Ra Vijayamurugan
Cast: Yogi Babu, Mime Gopi
Cocktail, directed by RA Vijayamurugan, begins with a story about a missing idol that was made by the Chola kings 450 years ago. But instead of expensive set design and art direction to place the story in that period, the director opts for something cleverer. Why take all that trouble when you can simply make a movie with jokes that belong from a millennium ago? In a sense, the cocktail in the film’s title alludes to a mix of racist, classist, ageist and sexist comedy, topped with a generous dose of homophobic rape jokes.
But looking for political correctness in a film headlined by poor-old Yogi Babu is like Googling the meaning of a Vijay Antony song, but even so Cocktail is a film where even its regressiveness is borrowed. What it tries to be is a Panchathathiram-like comedy where everything that can go wrong, does. What’s more, it also borrows the basic premise of The Hangover series.
So we get four male friends who meet at an apartment for a sarakku party before one of them gets engaged. They mix all the bottles of alcohol they have to make a heady concoction, only to wake up the next morning to discover the corpse of a woman in bed next to Yogi Babu’s character. Adding to the tension is the fact that the groom’s father-in-law is a police officer and he also has a mama visiting from Cumbum for the engagement. You throw in the aforementioned missing idol worth several crores, a red convertible, a dozen random characters and a blasphemous “munnadi pinnadi” joke and you get a film that makes even Zee 5 look bad.
But it’s not that there isn’t a film in there somewhere. It’s just that these actors, Yogi Babu being the exception, don’t have it in them to really sell the film’s wildly OTT performances. For instance, there’s a character who continues to talk to the corpse as though she’s very much alive, complimenting her for eyebrows and how well she’s dressed. As you can see, with the right amount of underplaying, this is a bit that could have been wildly funny. But every little thing is pushed to the point where it feels like everyone is just shouting the jokes at us.
It takes forever for the separate strands of the plot to come together and even so, the pay-off is hardly as effective as it should have been after all that waiting. But all that could have been overlooked had there been at least an ounce of tension in the film. Travelling around the city with a dead body in your trunk is as good as a ticking time bomb but with this screenplay, you are just waiting for something to happen.
With a convenient ending and two random songs that add nothing, the best thing about Cocktail is that it released on OTT, saving you from all the inconvenience of going to a theatre. Like the corpse of the woman, the screenplay too is dead on arrival.