It's a truth universally acknowledged that ego and nosey relatives somehow find their way into marriages. Midhun Manuel Thomas' third directorial venture Alamara bases its story on such easily relatable incidents that make the couple dynamic tick.
After 47 failed proposals and a cancelled marriage, Arun Pavithran (Sunny Wayne), a bank employee in Bengaluru, finally falls in love with Swathi (Aditi Ravi). Both families agree to the alliance– despite their differences– after a spell of ego clashes. But once Swathi's parents gift her a huge cupboard (alamara), as is the wont, more skeletons start to come out.
The couple moves to Bengaluru. At the same time, a legal issue over the purchase of a land in the city lands Arun and his friends Suvin (Aju Varghese), Prasad (Saiju Kurup) and Justin (Sudhi Koppa) in trouble. What happens next? Sorry, no more spoilers.
Yes, the characters in Alamara look cliched, but the performances more than makes up for the lack of fine points. Seema G Nair and Manju Satheesh, who played Arun and Swathi's mothers respectively, were a cut above the rest. For people who grew up listening to similar tug-of-war stories of in-laws can easily relate to these characters. Then comes Aditi Ravi. Despite being her debut movie, she has definitely outperformed Sunny. Her performance looks promising.
Though Sunny has done a decent job, at times his expressions fall flat. **spoiler alert** In one scene, where he is seen shouting at his wife looked far from convincing.
The script demanded Renji Panicker to be a docile husband, a far cry from his role in Jacobinte Swargarajyam. He entertained the audience with his humour sense and expressions. So is Sadiq. Though Aju looks repetitive in majority of his films, his character Suvin in Alamara is markedly different. While Saiju Kurup and Sudhi Koppa have done justice to their roles, it was Manikandan Achari's role that left the audience in splits.
Indrans plays the role of real estate fraudster Sreerama Shetty, who has a lot of clout in Karnataka. Though it might sound funny, his character is entertaining though the whole legal case doesn't fit comely into the script. Sonu Anna Jacob as Divya also deserves a favourable mention. Salim Kumar's voice-over for the cupboard make Alamara come alive, literally.
The characters reminded of the hen-pecked husbands in Malayalam television serials. Renji Panicker, Saiju Kurup (though he advices his friends, he seems to be afraid of his wife) and Sunny Wayne (till the climax) symbolise such men.
A note on the subtitles: Spotted errors a couple of times in the subtitles; typos as well as out-of-sync dialogues.
The theme of Alamara is different, but it doesn't instigate laugh riots, instead entertains audience with subtle humour. The bottom line is, both the man and the woman share equal responsibility in making a marriage work. It also helps to avoid interventions from relatives and neighbours, who won't leave the well enough alone. Worth watching for newly-married/ soon-to-get hitched couples.
IBTimes India Rating: 3