Director: Karthik Yogi
Cast: Santhanam, Yogi Babu, Anandaraj, Munishkanth
In Oh My Kadavule (a very likeable reinterpretation of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life) we got Vijay Sethupathi playing God to enable a divine intervention to allow Ashok Selvan’s character a second chance at love and love. Instead of magic or fantasy, this week’s Dikkiloona uses science-fiction and a time machine to give its protagonist multiple chances to look back at his choices with an option to amend them.
Like the former film, this golden opportunity isn’t being used by EB Mani (many Santhanams) to invest in crypto currency or to escape the Virus. He uses it to go back to his wedding day multiple times to see if a different decision then would have brought him happiness and success. Why two women are willing to marry this prick, we will never know because that’s where the story begins.
But in all fairness, to see a time machine being used to rethink one’s decision to get married does hold promise, especially in a comedy but the issue is the utter lack of imagination. They do nothing with this premise expect fill it up with time-consuming sub-plots that never fit it. Like the angle about sending two more characters (Munishkanth and Anandaraj) back in time to bring Mani back to present day. They are meant to be dimwits, placed there only for comedy, but they contribute so little and still take up so much time that you’re only thinking of how the film would have been 15 minutes shorter without them.
What about the two songs that should have never left the edit table? The problem isn’t really with Yuvan Shankar Raja’s tunes (one is a remix of a Raja classic). It is just the placement and its extended usage at a time in Mani’s life when we know he is unhappy. Which means that here’s another ten minutes that could have been chopped off. And unhappy for what? His wife keeps calling him when he’s at work and his father-in-law is a tad annoying. Without any kind of establishing of a conflict, why would we invest our emotions with a character who wants to go back in time to get remarried, or not marry at all, when we know nothing about his marriage.
Now what about an extremely mirthless twenty minutes set inside a mental asylum? This again is a licence for buffoonery but nothing comes together like it must have in the director’s mind. This is again a huge investment of time to practically say nothing, by which point we are exhausted at the back and forth format.
But, hey at least these portions are inoffensive in comparison to what happens in between. In what’s a barrage of wife jokes, we get everything from an annoying condescension of the wife’s family to her job to her dressing. We then get another iteration of a marriage when Mani goes back in time to marry a woman from an upper class background. This again becomes another license for the writers to do everything in their powers to make every line sound sexist and offensive. From slut-shaming this character for coming in late to hating on her male friend, these parts are shockingly backward and they are truly the only parts that seem to have been sent through a time machine. And when we get Mani lecturing this wife about the clothes she wears and her “silly” concept of freedom, a unfunny comedy just plain becomes insufferable. How much could you have salvaged if you had the option to chop off these scenes as well? Without a single funny scene or an outlandish, Dikkiloona is the perfect waste of a premise and a holiday.