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'Bro Daddy' Review: Mohanlal & Prithviraj’s Predictable Entertainer is Watchable
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'Bro Daddy' Review: Mohanlal & Prithviraj’s Predictable Entertainer is Watchable

'Bro Daddy' also stars Kalyani Priyadarshan, Meena, Lalu Alex, and Soubin Shahir.

Updated
Movie Reviews
3 min read

Bro Daddy

'Bro Daddy' Review: Mohanlal & Prithviraj’s Predictable Entertainer is Watchable

“What happened to the Mohanlal of yore?” is a common refrain among Kerala’s film lovers. For Mohanlal of the old had sharp comic timing with an ability to pull off any role without seemingly putting much effort.

The superstar is back to familiar territory in Prithviraj’s second directorial venture Bro Daddy, in a role with ample scope to tickle the funny bone of the audience, while also playing his age for a change. Bro Daddy, released straight on streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar, is a breezy, light-hearted comedy that ticks most of the boxes.

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First things first: Mohanlal playing Prithviraj’s father is the most refreshing sight in Malayalam cinema for a while, for the superstars – Mammootty being the bigger culprit – have been reluctant to play older characters regardless of the length of their roles. And it also goes to Mohanlal’s credit that he is confident enough to not opt for a salt-and-pepper look here. Prithviraj, too, plays an equally important role apart from helming the film, with a predictable narrative in hindsight.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mohanlal plays Prithviraj's father in&nbsp;<em>Bro Daddy.</em></p></div>

Mohanlal plays Prithviraj's father in Bro Daddy.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Apart from the duo, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Meena, Kaniha and Lalu Alex play prominent roles, in what is basically a family drama at the core of it. Tackling sensitive subjects with humour may not always work, but the plot here does have the potential to work with the audience.

Bro Daddy reminds you of some Priyadarshan films from the past, with many situations yielding to humour and yet, lacks that madcap, surreal feel to it. Two memorable Mohanlal films from 1994 – Pavithram meets Minnaram in Bro Daddy. Any more revealing of the plot might play spoiler.

The situational humour in the film is also supplemented by slapstick, which does not always work. While the first half is a breeze, there is a bit of lag in the second with an underwhelming climax to boot.

After the much-vaunted Lucifer, Prithviraj has handled a vastly different genre competently but one wishes Priyadarshan was helming it instead – for it had many elements of the ace director’s classics. Prithviraj, the actor, is at ease doing humour as usual, even if his superb comic timing doesn’t get due recognition otherwise.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Prithviraj in a still from&nbsp;<em>Bro Daddy.</em></p></div>

Prithviraj in a still from Bro Daddy.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The effort that Kalyani Priyadarshan is putting into her roles reflects in her performance here. Kalyani’s character of Anna isn’t very different from her previous outings in Malayalam cinema but she has improved vastly from her Varane Avashyamundu days. Lalu Alex has turned in a strong performance too, in a pivotal role which is almost as meaty as the protagonists, although one wishes Suresh Gopi had played that part for better effect. Meena’s chemistry with Mohanlal is great as usual and Kaniha also makes an impressive comeback to Mollywood.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mohanlal and Meena in a still from&nbsp;<em>Bro Daddy.</em></p></div>

Mohanlal and Meena in a still from Bro Daddy.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Among the supporting actors, Jagadish essays a regular character without any quirks – a more colourful part could have been written for the veteran. Soubin Shahir turns in a really annoying performance in a role meant to lighten up the proceedings, but only grates on the viewers. Mallika Sukumaran is adequate as the matriarch and Unni Mukundan is wasted in a cameo.

Jaffer Idukki and producer Antony Perumbavoor also make guest appearances in a film mostly revolving around the principal characters. While there is good chemistry overall among the principal cast, the characters could have been developed better.

Notwithstanding the fact that the crew had to shoot almost entirely out of Kerala on account of Covid-19 restrictions, Bro Daddy scores high aesthetically. Deepak Dev’s background score is crucial and livens up many sequences. The film could have been shorter by ten minutes and would have worked much better with an eccentric climax of the Priyadarshan kind. There isn’t much novelty to Bro Daddy but it still works as a fun and entertaining watch for a wide audience.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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