Director: Jishnu Sreekandan
Cast: Sunny Wayne, Saiju Kurup, Lalu Alex and Baiju
Pidikittapulli never rises above its premise in spite of a superb comic cast with Sunny Wayne, Saiju Kurup, Lalu Alex and Baiju. For the most part, it relies entirely on their performances to be funny, like the way Baiju’s Thomas adores Asiad Madhavan (Lalu Alex) but by the film’s end he feels let down by him and mopes about how he never told anyone about how Madhavan wanted to play Hanuman in a film but ended up playing just one of the monkeys. If this doesn’t sound funny on paper, it’s because it’s made hilarious only by the performances. Or the instance when Madhavan asks a character where Sita from Treta Yuga is, and he replies that he only knows a Gita from Thriprayar. But the predictable story that unfolds over a single evening doesn’t offer scope for the comedy to develop beyond such occasional funny one-liners.
Rajasekhara Kurup (Major Ravi) is a real estate tycoon who made his way to the top through criminal means. There’s a group led by the son of a person he betrayed that tries to kidnap him. In a comedy of errors, they kidnap a lookalike who had himself come to extract revenge from Kurup. And then there’s Shambu (Sunny Wayne) who is hoping to elope with Kurup’s daughter the same night. A series of weakly connected events lead everyone — including the unconscious and gagged Kurup — to end up in Kurup’s house where his wife is throwing herself a birthday party. And in the end, we get a ‘twist’ about Shambu’s identity, long after when the reveal might have been interesting. It feels like the entire film was woven around this half-decent twist — everything else feels scattershot comic filler.
You find the characters quirky but they’re not developed enough for us to care about them. After setting up a comedy of errors — two teams each with an unconscious person in their possession — the film meanders along with its one-liners and occasionally hilarious situational humour until it hastily and conveniently resolves all plot points at the end. In the first hour, the film remains watchable as comic situations are gradually set up. But after that, Pidikittapulli just randomly kills runtime until it’s time for that twist which by now feels satisfying only because it’s been an hour since we got a new plot point. We get a few good snippets of comedy, like a ridiculously literary ransom letter (“if you want your husband returned with both his ojas and tejas intact…”) or how Asiad Madhavan is preoccupied with his ‘pint’ in the middle of a crisis. But they feel like isolated comedy sketches that work because of the performances.
There’s a reference by a character about how kids are making films these days after merely watching YouTube channels. Pitikittapulli feels like a bunch of funny YouTube skits mashed up together by the barest of plots and a limp twist.