Kamath & Kamath - Stale Dosa for Mass Consumption

After watching all these light and breezy "new-generation" Malayalam movies featuring simple star casts, stories and scripts telling real-life stories of real people it is only natural that one would forget how bad the big-budget trash that is also the mainstay of the industry and it's "Super Stars" really are. And today I was unceremoniously reminded of the existence of the hero-worshipping subculture and the movies made exclusively for them which have no story, a bloated and repetitive script, chest thumping heroes, forced, fake comedy and overbearing hero-machoism. Kamath & Kamath is one of those.

Directed By: Thomson Produced by: Anto Joseph
Screenplay by: Uday Krishna & Sibi K Thomas Starring: Mammootty, Dileep, Rima Kallingal
Co-Starring: Karthika, Baburaj, Suraj Venjaramoodu
Genre: Machosim
Release date: 25 January 2013 Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Why you should watch it

  • You are a really big huge hero-worshipping fan of Mammootty and/or Dileep.
  • You really like watching bloated, pointless movies.

Why you should not watch it

  • Everything else.

My Verdict and Ranking: One out of Five

Kamath & Kamath - The Story or Something Like That (Caution, Spoilers!)

Raja Raja Kamath (Mammootty) and Deva Raja Kamath (Dileep) are incredibly wealthy and influential Konkani Goud Saraswat Brahmin brothers and the propreitors of the Kamath & Kamath chain of vegetarian restaurants in Kerala. Their ancestors had migrated to Kerala from Goa in the 14th century at the time of the Portuguese conquest. The Kamaths started off from a night shop thattukada making and selling dosas to help their handicapped father repay his loans. They talk in heavily Konkani-accented Malayalam and are assisted by Gopi (Baburaj) their loyal sidekick and bodyguard who has a sense of dry humor. The Kamaths open a branch of their restaurant in Palakkad after defeating sabotaging attempts by a rival hotel owner Suleiman Sahib (Riza Bava) and his friend Councillor Kaipuly (Suraj Venjaramood). They become friends with neighbor Municipal Councillor Maha Lakshmi (Rima Kallingal) who lives with Shantha (Tesni Khan) and her sister-in-law Surekha. Suresh (Naren) was Lakshmi's brother who fell in love with Surekha and married her despite opposition from her father and brothers who promptly got him killed. Surekha is Junior Kamath's love interest and he of course, marries her in the end after beating up her father and brothers. Well, that's it.

Kamath & Kamath - Pointless Review

The movie is just full of hot air and does not have a story that makes any sense, it is just a sequence of frames strung together. The entire caper surrounding the license and opening of the restaurant, the appearance of Dhanush at various occasions, Lakshmi getting attacked in the forest road at night, Jr Kamath stalking Surekha, the presence of Suraj Venjaramood and Tesni Khan and many other incidents in the movie are just pointless and serve no purpose or sense whatsoever. Adding to that, the second half is slow and lagging. The heroines are just props meant to look pretty. It is a shame that the talent of an actress of such caliber as Rima Kallingal is wasted in this movie. The script is the same one that has been recycled a thousand times and has become woefully stale. Thomson is known for making only mass cinema, so nothing is to be expected there.

Actually, there is nothing really about Kammath and Kammath even to write a review about as it is just a mass masala movie made for the sole reason to glorify the leading actors and give their fans something to whistle about. There is no Chemistry between anyone, even Mammootty and Dileep. Dileep shows all that he usually does and is good at it with good comic timing, but I wish he talked in Malayalam in his usual way. Mammootty is not given much to do and he suddenly looks old. Many scenes in the movie purposefully show hundreds of bystanders watching the shoot to further accentuate the "massness" of the movie. The only saving grace is Baburaj, the new found sarcastic and dark comedy hero of Malayalam cinema!

The film is full of fallacies but none is as pronounced as the much-touted highlight of the movie, the irritating Konkani accented Malayalam the heroes speak. It sounds like they are talking out of their nose sounding artificial, labored and forced. Not to mention the totally absurd logic of anyone born and brought up in Kerala would speak Malayalam with such heavy Konkani accents. By that logic anyone with a mother tongue not the native language of the state they are living in should be walking around speaking with heavy accents, no? Another thing is the sickening obeisance it pays to Kollywood with settings in Coimbatore and Tamil songs and dances pushed in.

Super Hero Machoism - Alive and Well

Kamath & Kamath belongs to the movie genre called "Machoism". This genre is seen only in India and to which belong movies that are made only to glorify actors who play characters portrayed as uber-human, larger-than-life heroes who perform over-the-top superhuman acts while being portrayed as infallible supermen exuding raw masculinity. Mammootty and Dileep walk around immaculately dressed in crisp ironed dhotis, spotless silk shirts and black overcoats (in the Palakkad heat), grandiosely step in and out of BMWs, Land Rovers and Mercedeses with the camera fawning all over them, throw exuberant, thundering dialogues at the screen and hence at the fans on pretense of it being part of the script, are filmed from the ground up or all-around panning shots with wooshing, thundering or bombastic background music, command their minions to fight the bad guys while they sit atop the luxury car and grandly watch and stepping in only when the going gets tough to eliminate the entire villain clans with one sweeping fist or leg. They shower exuberant praises on each other to thrill the fans and so on.

Hero-machoism was present in Indian cinema since forever, especially in the Tamil and Telugu industries for a long time, and Malayalees used to laugh at the antics of these movie stars, pointing out the "sensible" and "realistic" cinema Malayalam film industry produces or used to produce. And today we have those same people falling over each other fawning over their god-like Superstars espousing the same thing what they used to laugh at, thanks to the "fan" culture that has suddenly gripped Kerala. And no, a string of "indie" good movies that have come out recently have not succeeded in reducing this trend one bit.

Kamath and Kamath - The Pointless Verdict

The film can only be seen as the desperate attempt of aging "Super" and "Mega" stars trying to hang on to their glory and command of yesteryear, trying hard to stay relevant in today's time and age. It is not even a mass entertainer as there is nothing entertaining in it. Stay away, unless you are a real "fan" and love such mass movies. As a footnote, an accomplished and great actor like Mammootty should not do these kind of mass movies and focus on good cinema instead. Kamath & Kamath is not a bad movie. It is just tailor-made for a particular audience. I found it boring.

KammathandKammath

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