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Old Monk movie review: MG Srinivas delivers a fun film that’s worth a watch

The romantic comedy, directed by MG Srinivas, pairs him with Aditi Prabhudeva.

Old Monk movie review: MG Srinivas delivers a fun film that’s worth a watch
Srinivas and Aditi in a still from the film

Last Updated: 01.16 PM, Feb 25, 2022


Story: Narada is banished to a life on earth by Krishna, a curse that can be broken only if he has a love marriage, with the blessings of family too. To make sure Narada has his work cut out for him, Krishna ensures he is born into a family that abhors love matches. Can Narada, as Appanna in his earthly avatar, work his way around this?


Review: It’s truly refreshing when the humour in a romantic comedy is its absolute highlight and not just a force-fitted track that could have been avoided. Actor-director MG Srinivas, who has been making a name for himself as a filmmaker who stays off the beaten path, be it with Srinivasa Kalyana or the first in the Birbal Trilogy, now presents Old Monk, a roma ntic comedy that rides high on situational comedy.

MG Srinivas and Sujay Shastry in the film
MG Srinivas and Sujay Shastry in the film

And it works perfectly because he doesn’t rely on one or two cast members to do the job for him. This is a team effort, with everyone chipping in and making an absolute fun watch. Srini, as the filmmaker is popularly known, employs a simple subject – He is Appanna, Narada in human form (after being cursed by Lord Krishna), who needs to fall in love, with the approval of family, to be able to return to devaloka. Trouble is that his father, Narayan (played brilliantly by filmmaker S Narayan), follows the family tradition of arranged marriages only. A die-hard romantic whose every attempt at falling in love is foiled, Appanna finally finds the girl of his dreams, only to find out that he has some history with her father, so getting his approval is going to be difficult. But that’s not the only obstacle, as an old foe from his college days resurfaces with revenge on the agenda.

The beauty of Old Monk is that Srini plays to the strengths of each of his actors, including himself. This is a filmmaker who is self-aware of what he can sell convincingly and what he cannot, relying on clever wordplay in punchlines to make the film work. Sujay Shastry as Ranveer Singh and S Narayan as Appanna’s father are absolute riots and perfect foils to the leading man. Aditi Prabhudeva, as the romantic interest, has a limited role, but is a treat to watch. Time and again the actress proves that she’s more than just a pretty face and she does it yet again. It would have been nice to see more of her. The only misstep in the narrative is the political track about the sinister MLA and his son (played convincingly by Sudev Nair and voiced perfectly by Chetan Gandharva), also an aspiring politician. It seems as if Srini was unsure what to do with that plot point and took the easy way out eventually, which was a little bit of a cop out. But that is a minor glitch that can be forgiven.

Verdict: Old Monk is not an extraordinary film, but it comes across as a breath of fresh air amid the plethora of mindless commercial movies at the box office every other week. Srini’s line, “Mass is temporary, but class is permanent”, defines the film. This is the kind of movie you should take the entire family to – so, get some popcorn, have a good laugh and come back happy. This, my friends, is what we call paisa vasool time pass.


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