Watching Lal Jr’s Honey Bee 2 is like skipping the drinking, and heading straight to a hangover and headache. A sequel to the 2013 film Honey Bee, Honey Bee 2 has characters who are engrossed in things that make little sense. Of course, this justifies the film’s title, which is a nod to a popular local liquor brand in Kerala. Set around a lavish wedding, Honey Bee 2 tries hard to play to the gallery.
But for the viewer, the end result is an unremarkable drama woven around bland situations.
Of all the uninteresting characters in the film, the dullest is its hero, Seban (Asif Ali). Seban is a man-child whose life revolves around the bottles of alcohol he downs in the company of his equally aimless friends.
In Honey Bee, all hell broke loose when a stoned Seban asked his best friend Angel (Bhavana) to elope with him, after ditching her four ferocious elder brothers and fiancé on the night before her wedding. Curiously, Angel agreed to run away with him, only to face heartbreak the next morning when she realised that the sober Seban is not in love with her.
Nevertheless, the thrilling chase between Seban’s gang and Angel’s brothers made the first part an engaging watch.
Honey Bee 2, is more of a family affair, with a focus on Seban’s coming-of-age story. It begins with a Seban and Angel near-fatally plunging into the sea from the rear of a ship, in a bid to escape from her brothers. The couple’s suicide attempt draws forgiveness from Michael Punyalan (Lal), the eldest brother.
Burying the hatchet, Michael announces Angel’s wedding to Seban.
Things seems to be running smoothly. But that’s not enough for the impulsive man-child Seban. He has unresolved issues with his parents. He is unsure of his love for Angel. There are scenes that desperately try to be intense. Like the one where Seban screams at his mother exasperatedly, “I don’t know what to do!”
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to take this guy or his grief seriously. He is as wayward and unpredictable as a monkey. His own friend Abdu (Sreenath Bhasi) says, “Don’t let him drink too much, or he will say he is in love with the next woman he sees.”
That Angel is in love with Seban is something the film doesn’t want to have explain. It follows commercial cinema’s favourite formula where the most selfish brat in the gang ends up with the best girl. Never in the runtime of either movie do we get a inkling that Seban genuinely cares for Angel.
Angel, on the other hand, refuses to give up on this alcoholic. Every time he shouts at her and blurts out things like “I regret the moment I asked you to marry me”, the camera quickly captures her – wiping off tears carefully, careful not to upset the wedding make-up.
The irreverent humour that had worked to a large extent in Honey Bee falls flat in the second part. In one sequence, a drunk elderly uncle asks Angel to “scratch his butt” if she has some time to spare. She laughs off the tasteless request as if it’s a routine joke.
What does work in the film’s favour is the presence of actors like Sreenivasan, Baburaj, and Suresh Krishna.
Sreenivasan plays advocate Thampi Antony, Seban’s father, and a clueless man whose love for his son is often misinterpreted as disdain. The veteran actor brilliantly underplays the role, which is one of the few interesting characters in the film. Suresh Krishna as the priest is naturally funny. He is the first to jump into the ring whenever a fight erupts. Suresh, who used to be the reigning antagonist in Mollywood once upon a time, plays the character with élan.
The rest of the supporting cast aren’t particularly memorable. Most of all though, Asif Ali’s loud performance fits the bill, because Seban owns all the antipathy he generates.
Ultimately, Honey Bee 2 resembles an awkward school reunion where former classmates meet after many years, but cannot decide on a topic of conversation. If it was any fun to watch Seban, Angel and their friends in the first part of the series, the second part makes us realise just how shallow and annoying these characters are, when you get to know more of them.
In the case of Honey Bee 2, familiarity breeds indifference.
The Honey Bee 2 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.