Malli Modalaindi movie review: This 'love after divorce' story is immature and dull
Check out the Pinkvilla movie review of Sumanth and Naina Ganguly's Malli Modalaindi directed by TG Keerthi Kumar.
Title: Malli Modalaindi
Cast: Sumanth, Naina Ganguly and others
Director: TG Keerthi Kumar
Run-time: 127 minutes
In 'Malli Modalaindi', a divorced man falls in love with a divorce lawyer. He is in his 30s and she is 28. But going by how the scenes play out, you can be forgiven for believing that it's a generic love story between two 20-something individuals trying to figure out what don't want. The lawyer becomes a relationship counsellor of repute, but for all other practical purposes, she behaves like she doesn't know why she has fallen in love with a confused, non-commital, self-centered, emotionally unsatisfying divorcee. She counsels divorcees and helps them rebuild lives, but why on earth she falls for a man who barely expresses his mind is beyond our comprehension.
Vikram (Sumanth) is a star chef whose marriage is on the rocks. His wife Nisha (Varshini Sounderajan) is done with his notorious inability to engage her and give her time. She also suspects that he is having an affair with his friend Vaishali (Pavani Reddy, the only actress in the film who manages to share chemistry with Sumanth). Naina Ganguly plays Pavithra, the divorce lawyer. Love blossoms between Pavithra and Vikram in no time after the latter's divorce. One fateful day, she realizes that Vikram is complicated while looking dull on the surface.
To review the film in the style of a restaurant reviewer (remember, the male lead is a chef and his friend is a food critic), it's like a dish incompatible with your taste buds. As soon as the male lead and his wife are shown arguing, we know that the film is only interested in trivializing the latter's suffering. She is made to look like an over-possessive and childish woman, and, to make the matters worse, some of the lines have been written to exclusively present the male perspective (to massage the male ego, to put it frankly).
To be fair, the writing toys with some evolved ideas (divorce shouldn't be seen as a stigma, and living in an incompatible marriage is more painful than divorce). Elders (Suhasini Maniratnam plays the male lead's entrepreneurial mother) counsel the couple against divorce, but even in this segment, the wife's parents have little say. They open their mouth to glorify the son-in-law's family. Manjula Ghattamaneni, who plays a world-renowned therapist remains an under-written character.
The jokes are outdated, with the divorce lawyer played by Posani Krishna Murali named Kutumba Rao. After a point, Vennela Kishore's comedy falls flat, with him reproducing this stale WhatsApp joke: 'He who says sorry even when he is absolutely right is a husband'.
Here is our parting shot: Pavithra runs a counselling centre where divorcees hope to re-shape their lives. Tagubothu Ramesh approaches the centre for help. A character tells him to make out with his wife on a rainy night and beget his fourth child so that the post-divorce division of kids becomes arithmetically easy. This is the level of this silly relationship drama.