Brother’s Day, the debut directorial of actor Kalabhavan Shajohn, isn’t the kind of film that can be explained in a one-line story. Rather, it’s a jumble of several stories that are forcefully interlinked into the narrative with a lot of loose ends. The film begins on a lighter note. The main characters are Ronnie (Prithviraj) and Munna (Dharmajan Bolgatty), who work at a hotel that doubles as a catering unit, with the duo occasionally picking up tourists to help the hotel business. Ronnie also has an ailing sister who is cared for by an aunt.
Ronnie is easily one of the most indistinct heroes Prithviraj has played in a long time. He mostly lazes around, except when occasionally flexing his muscles, smiling and flirting awkwardly, empathising with a weeping man and several weeping women, making friends, and eventually wearing the cloak of a saviour. You get the drift. The actor wasn’t really joking when he said he took on the film as he didn’t want to worry his head over anything.
Shajohn is too focussed on weaving this mess of a screenplay around an obnoxiously cruel antagonist Shiva (Prasanna), who is like a fathomless pit of a black hole. He does everything he can get his dirty hands on to endanger mankind. From extorting money from businessmen using honeytraps and slaughtering men to molesting women and throwing the bodies into forests. In one scene, he derives pleasure by watching a canine chew on a nude, unconscious woman. And, apparently this is being marketed as a family entertainer! But this guy has no backstory or personality, all we are told in the end is that he was a dreaded criminal.
Unlike his counterparts from a mimicry background, Shajohn falls flat with the humour portions, with not a single memorable comedy scene. Dharmajan Bolgatty rehashes his own humour lines and Prithviraj tries earnestly to look funny, but to no avail.
The rest of the convoluted characters are all victims of the antagonist. And, they are all shockingly underwritten — a Muslim girl (Miya) who falls for his threats to save the family’s honour, Aishwarya Lekshmi’s Santa who is adopted by Vijayaraghavan (why does he get such awful roles?) and has a ludicrous backstory. We are never told as to why the villain picks his victims and there is no sense of intrigue, despite the multiple twists, or even a detailed police investigation, despite a long line of serial murders.
The hero has a romantic interest in Madonna, who is this rich girl who comes from a broken home, but carries a bigger heart. So, we have that token scene where the hero discovers that she runs an old age home and is left seriously impressed. Another cliched scene where she talks about a childhood in which her mom introduced her to alcohol, leaving her sore about relationships forever. In fact, in one scene after Ronnie narrates his tearful backstory, you have a bizarre long shot of the heroine walking away without saying a word.
Running over 2 hrs and 40 minutes, the film is also simply too long, with a needless, distasteful Punjabi-Kerala wedding song, a tiresome stretch around Vijayaraghavan and his drunken brawls, a silly bit around Kottayam Nazeer’s character and his infertility woes, and a Prithviraj wondering whether he is on a vacation or on a film set.