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Guilty Pleasure: You either love 3 Kings or you hate it, there is no middle ground

Starring Jayasurya, Kunchacko Boban, Indrajith Sukumaran, Samvrutha Sunil, Ann Augustine and Sandhya, this whimsical comedy is not for all

Guilty Pleasure: You either love 3 Kings or you hate it, there is no middle ground

  • Akshay Krishna

Last Updated: 08.19 AM, Feb 17, 2022

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There are only two types of people in Kerala. The ones that love 3 Kings and ones that hate it. Keeping this in mind, you can’t even really blame the people who hate it. This comedy, which was released in 2011, is a blunder in more ways than one. The jokes are either politically incorrect or are just, well, not really comedy gold. But to many, including me, 3 Kings in a comedy goldmine.

3 Kings is one of my Guilty Pleasure movies and I do not think twice about watching it whenever I get the chance. Starring Jayasurya, Kunchacko Boban, Indrajith Sukumaran, Samvrutha Sunil, Ann Augustine and Sandhya in the lead and supported by kings of comedy such as Jagathy Sreekumar, Salim Kumar and Suraj Venjaramoodu and others, the movie is a laugh riot, if you belong to the group that loves the movie.

It follows three estranged cousins, who are living to earn money fast, so they can keep all their ancestral riches that are now in a legal lockdown. Fighting since the day they were born, these brothers and their girlfriends set out on an adventure to find a hidden treasure belonging to the days of Tipu Sultan.

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From the very first scenes, where the younger versions of the brothers try wooing the same girl, the movie makes itself very clear - this is not your regular comedy. Giving the younger versions the voice of their older selves, the movie kicks starts from there.

If you are a fan of the movie, you can’t help but laugh out loud to scenes such as Bhaskaran Unni Raja’s (Indrajith) audition for the IPL team gone wrong or Shankaran Unni Raja’s (Jayasurya) infamous musical masterpiece, Bilsila: The Song of the Millenium. Some days when I feel down and out and decide to watch 3 Kings, Bilsila instantly cheers me up and soon has me singing aloud with Jayasurya.

The movie boasts a long list of scenes that live rent free in the heads of its fans, such as the call center mixup or the hilariously funny scene with Salim Kumar helping out Dinakaran (Jagathy) flying an airplane.

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For example, the scene where the three girls have to meet their possible future husbands as a part of their father's plan is just execution and writing at its whimsical best. The synchronized lines in itself are funny but to back it up with the body language is another touch of gold. “Adha, avide aanu bathroom ketto, tto,” is a treat, just like many other lines from the movie. The uncoordinated chaos in the scene where they try to steal the deed of the house also gets a shoutout. The Luttappi costume only hints at what the scene ahead holds and it does not disappoint.

Suraj on the other hand, plays an unnamed man who is after the gold as well, but does not have the least idea where it is. Playing the character from Ghajini with all the little clues he has to hijacking a bus as a terrorist, he actually ends up getting close to the treasure. Most of his lines and scenes are pure comedy gold (or not), most notably the “Slow motionil nadakunnavar ellavarum theevravadhikal aano?” to his trying to steal the key to lockup to break out of prison.

Bhaskaran Unni jumping his bike at 65 kmph at an angle of 45 degree to meet the fake Veerappan are all beautifully set up to greater dangers that lie ahead of their treasure hunt. I mean, who can forget the scene where Shankaran Unni and Anju (Samvrutha Sunil) get in a stranger's car, only to make the mistake of asking him his full name?

Yet, there are some jokes in the movie that are in bad taste and politically incorrect, using body shaming and the colour of the skin to pass as comedy. While we as a society would have failed to question such jokes in cinema and TV all those years ago, we would not let it pass today. And the fact that I and people I know don’t see these jokes as comedy, is a hint at what growth we are making, albeit small.

I can fully understand why a lot of people hated the movie when it initially came out and even to this day, but on the flip side, this is just the kind of geeky, out-of-hand comedy that Malayalam cinema still lacks - where nothing is out of order and everything goes. Even if I can agree that the jokes in the movie are genuinely unfunny and make no sense and that it is a bad movie overall, it makes me laugh every time I see it. And that is after all, the idea of a guilty pleasure movie.

3 Kings is available to stream on Sun NXT.

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