SYNOPSIS: A don sends three criminals to recover a treasure buried by his grandfather in a village. A fourth criminal joins the trio en route, and they decide to hoodwink the don and share the treasure between themselves.
REVIEW: There is a madcap vibe to Gulaebaghavali, a comic caper that is largely amusing and laugh-out-loud funny at a handful of moments when it manages to fully exploit the nuttiness of its premise.
The plot revolves around a treasure — a chest filled with diamonds — that has been lying buried in Gulaebaghavali village since 1945. The grandson of the guy who buried it is now a don (Madhusudhanan), and with the help of his relative (Anandraj) he coerces three petty criminals — Badri (Prabhudheva), Viji (Hansika) and Munish (Munishkanth Ramadas) — to retrieve it. The trio set out on the task but are joined by Masha (Revathy), who is also, like them, a small-time criminal. The four decide to split the treasure between themselves, but can the don(s) be hoodwinked that easily?
Like last year’s Maragatha Nanayam, another wacky comic coper, which it resembles in spirit, Gulaebaghavali is somewhat of a minor surprise. Debutant Kalyaan’s writing and filmmaking might lack finesse but he makes up for it with confident narration, never letting the film slip into a lull. There is some inventiveness, too… like manner in which the diamonds are hidden, the use of double cliches, and in the way the four main characters have a common link in the form of a bumbling cop (Sathyan).
Refreshingly, the focus is not just on the hero, but on all the four characters who make up the team. Kalyaan realises that each one is a protagonist, and gives them an introduction scene each. The actors pitch in wholeheartedly and turn in engaging performances (even Hansika gets her lip-sync right!). Revathy, especially, lets her hair down and has a ball playing Masha, who, it is implied, is the 40-something version of the spunky, chirpy character that the actress played in Arangetra Velai.
That said, there is something amiss with the film; it isn’t as wacky as its premise sounds, and not as funny as it could have been. The writing isn’t compelling enough and there are stretches where the loudness in the humour comes close to being juvenile.
A duet in the second half only serves to increase the duration. But, luckily for us, there is a laugh just around the corner of an unengaging scene and this keeps the film entertaining while it lasts.