Streaming on Disney+Hotstar 26th January 2022
Prithviraj Sukumaran’s first directorial debut Lucifer was a well made political drama within the commercial framework but it wasn’t a film that stayed with you. With Bro Daddy the director attempts a comedy. Just like Lucifer, Bro Daddy also relies heavily on the screen presence of the legendary Mohanlal to make it work. Although Prithviraj has casted himself as the second lead it is Mohanlal who runs away with the show most of the time.
Prithviraj takes the conflict point from the film Badhaai Ho. Just like Neena Gupta’s character in Badhaai Ho here too Meena who plays Mohanlal’s onscreen wife gets pregnant at a late age, the sons in both the films aren’t happy with their mother getting pregnant at that age. However, director /actor Prithviraj Sukumaran doesn’t fully dwell into this topic, he treats it as a mere side plot as the proceedings unfold.
Bro Daddy begins off with a short animation clip. This clip gives the audience a good idea about what to expect from the film. Constant jokes are made about the age gap between father John Kattadi (Mohanlal) and son Eesho John (Prithviraj Sukumraran). The age gap jokes just don’t end here; the audiences are reminded of it at frequent intervals. The reason for the age gap between the father and son is that John and Anna (Meena) had married quite young.
They are waiting for their son Eesho (Prithviraj) to marry. Eesho works as an advertising professional. He is in a relationship with a girl who is also Anna (Kalyani Priydarshni). This Anna is the daughter of John’s best friend Kurian (Lalu Alex). The reason for Kurian naming his daughter Anna too is that once upon a time he wanted to marry Meena’s Anna. However, it wasn’t possible due to certain circumstances. But Kurian’s love for her is still there. Whenever Kurian meets or talks to her soothing background music starts playing.
Coming back to the plot, the parents of both the parties don’t know that their children are having a live in a relationship in Bangalore. Things take a turn when Kalyani Priyadarshini’s Anna gets pregnant and she decides to go ahead with the baby. Eesho isn’t happy with her decision but there is nothing much he can do. Another shock awaits Eesho when his father calls and says that he needs to discuss something important with him in person. What follows are a bunch of comic set pieces, some of them definitely land but there are also certain episodes that leave you with a bitter taste.
One of the things that Prithviraj gets right is the characters of John and Kurian, as John Kattadi Mohanlal oozes charm and vitality in every frame. His comic timing feels absolutely effortless, at no point you feel that the actor is trying too hard. His comic timing and expressions play a major role in some of the jokes really landing well.
Kurian’s Lalu Alex is another character which is worth mentioning here. The core of Kurian is his caged anger management issues. As Kurian Lalu Alex not only displays wonderful comic timing but he also gives a strong performance in the emotional bits.
For example, there is a key scene in the second half involving the big reveal. His hurt at being kept in the dark by his best friend and also his daughter is wonderfully brought out by the actor.
The father and the son equation also gives the film some lovely moments. John Kattadi comes across as more of a friend than dad to Eesho.
The biggest downer of Bro Daddy is the lack of strong emotional connect. This can be particularly seen in the characters of Meena and Kalyani Priyadarshini. Both the Anna’s start off strongly but they are left midway. The character of Esho is also something which leaves a lot to be desired.
The frustrations of Esho are understandable but there is not much development in the character that you see. Before the pre- climax there is a scene where John makes his son understand Kurian’s point of view. However, the transformation feels very abrupt and doesn’t give a complete sense of him having changed.
Some of the comedy bits are too annoying to say the least. Soubin Shahir’s event manager is meant to be a spoof but instead of being amused you feel like fast forwarding.
There is a serious hangover of Priyadarshan’s Hindi fims that you find in the comic style adopted by Prithviraj Sukumaran. This method doesn’t really pay dividends here as the humor hasn’t got that rip roaring quality to it. It is another matter that Priyadarshan himself has become a stale filmmaker over the years.
Watch Bro Daddy if you are in the mood for some light hearted fun but don’t expect too much.
Also read: The expectations have come true