After all these years, has Radha Mohan moved past his early 2000s Indian television aesthetic? No. Has it become worse with a film rushed from start to finish in the middle of a pandemic? Yes. Did it cross my mind to excuse myself from this review by saying I lost my memory halfway into the film, like it is something accidental? To be honest, yes.
Arun (Vaibhav) and Suja (Vani Bhojan) are happily married – at least one of them thinks so – with a daughter who prefers Arun’s narration of Game of Thrones over her mother’s more traditional bedtime stories, now safe in the lockers of days past. “Aarambame nalla illa,” she says, inadvertently commenting on the film. We learn that Arun is having an extramarital affair with Bhavna (Riya Suman) and flies to Bangalore to spend four days with her in the pretence of a business trip to Malaysia. Guess what? The Malaysian Airlines flight goes missing. Yeah, the film is full of borrowed ideas and “jokes” one might have read on Whatsapp. His friend Prabhu (Karunakaran) suggests the idea of memory loss inspired by – wait for it – The Bourne Identity.
Radha Mohan also rejigs his earlier subplots. His Mozhi had MS Bhaskar’s character stuck in a time loop from twenty years earlier to the events of that film. We see such a character here too; an old woman living in Arun’s posh township and the jokes don’t work anymore. Almost to the point of coming across as ableist. MS Bhaskar is here too playing a mix of budget Sherlock Holmes by day and a Smule singer by night. He is Suja’s insufferable uncle, staying with them to stalk his potential future son-in-law. He changes tracks after becoming suspicious of Arun and Prabhu’s behaviour. The film goes for easy jokes (and non-jokes, there is comment on China/Chinese could have been avoided), making it look like Radha Mohan was making things up as he was filming, following in the footsteps of Arun and Prabhu’s charade. Or is it the other way round? It is sad to see Vani Bhojan reduced to a character with no scope for performance. Neither is Suja furnished with the truth that she’s owed, which is unfortunate for both Suja and Vani, after her wonderful turn in last year’s Oh My Kadavule.
The Malaysia to Amnesia 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.