Hara Hara Mahadevaki: Even a broken clock…

Director: Santhosh Jayakumar
Cast: Gautham Karthik, Nikki Galrani, Rajendran, Karunakaran

Since I watched Hara Hara Mahadevaki a few days back, a few notable developments have occurred. Some of the social media reviewers shared unfavourable opinions about the film, and in response, those behind the film seem to have released a disclaimer that’s gone viral. This disclaimer declares that it’s easy to watch and criticise a film, and mockingly requests that a minute’s silence be observed for those who expected a story in Hara Hara Mahadevaki. Well, I definitely didn’t ‘expect a story’. What I did ‘expect’, however — given the promo material of the film — was that the film be funny… at least for the most part. It was after all promoted as a comedy. Were a few jokes wrong to ask for, or must a minute’s silence be observed for those who expected jokes too?

For this review, I’m simply going to share some of what Hara Hara Mahadevaki considers to be jokes. Before I do so, let me state that there were two jokes I did really enjoy. One has the film’s hero, Hari (Gautham Karthik), trying to replicate a proposal scene, and in the other, a man, long stopped from relieving himself, does so, to a car exploding in the background. In a film that’s replete with attempts to make you laugh, these two worked for me. You know the saying about the broken clock?

So, here goes. Do NOT look away or stop reading mid-way, even if you realise that some of these attempts at jokes are harmful to your psyche.

  1. The film has a narrator who seems convinced that simply mimicking the manner of speech of the ‘WhatsApp saamiyaar’ is funny. Well, it isn’t. It was not just the accent of the man in those WhatsApp audio notes, but also, mainly, the shock value of the obscene content — given that he was impersonating a man supposed to be pious — that got people laughing. The narrator of this film, however, is constantly saying mundane things in this accent, for some reason.
  2. Rajendran plays a character who is apparently such a fan of Mike Tyson that he runs a Mike Tyson Rasigar Manram. In one scene, the camera zooms into his bare body so closely that across the width of the entire screen in the theatre, all you see is his chest area. I imagine that’s the scene that got the censors certify this film ‘A’. You definitely wouldn’t want children traumatised by that visual.
  3. In his opening scene, the hero, Hari, is found sleeping in an ice box that is meant to carry corpses. His friend (Satish) comes in, grieving for his friend. Apparently, he thought that Hari’s dead and goes on to realise otherwise. Are you laughing?
  4. One character looks at a cashier and says, “Gallaa-la irundhaa dull-a pesa koodaadhu.” There can have been no real reason to include this line except as an attempt at a joke.
  5. A woman who is supposedly two-timing the characters played by Karunakaran and Rajendran, is shown to be hiding dozens of men in her apartment. Her husband, who’s in the same house, exclaims helplessness. Eventually, all the half-naked men hurry out.
    Are you laughing yet?
  6. Hari goes home and says, “Ma, beer-u irukka? Che, more-u irukka?” He then demands to know why she threw his green underwear out. She says she did that because she found it had holes in it. If you’re waiting for a punchline of some kind, sorry. That’s the joke. The underwear developed holes. Get it? No? Me neither.
  7. A flashback sequence shows you how Hari’s girlfriend (Nikki Galrani) met him for the first time. As Hari steps out of a lake, having lost the itty-bitty cloth he had wrapped around his waist, who should see him in full glory but his future girlfriend. And then, Hari, inspired by Rajini from Annamalai, keeps murmuring, “Kadavule, kadavule.
  8. Meanwhile, there’s a saamiyaar who owns a resort called Hara Hara Mahadevaki (there’s your connection to the title of the film). He attracts guests by recommending the resort as a solution for people suffering from various problems, including impotency.
  9. A character confuses the words ‘Bomb bag’ for ‘Bombay cake’. Another character says, “Avanga Tirupati poitaanga. Nee avala trupti padutha poita?” Around this time, I dimly realised I was closer to crying than I was to laughing.
  10. Towards the end, someone releases a group of snakes. And by ‘snakes’, I do mean the legless reptiles that belong to the suborder Serpentes. It’s important to make this clear, as a woman, earlier in the film, refers to her man’s member as a ‘not-so-long snake’.
    The people in the resort, following the release of these three-four snakes, begin scampering all over the place. This goes on for what seems like hours as people keep running past each other but somehow never end up figuring the resort’s exit. There’s supposed to be something funny about their constant running in the background, even as other characters have conversations. Let me know if you figure.
  11. A character confuses ‘bomb’ with ‘paambu’.

These are the attempts I remember anyway. And I’m glad to have shared it with you. Having shared my grief, you, the reader, and I are closer than we were before you came across this review.

And in response to the disclaimer that went viral, no, as you can see, it’s clearly not so easy to watch and review films for a living.

This review was written for Cinema Express, the cinema division of The New Indian Express. All copyrights belong to the organisation. Do link to its page if you’d like to share it.

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