‘Ittymaani: Made in China’ Review: This Mohanlal-Starrer Feels Like A Step Back For Malayalam Cinema

Neelima Menon
A still from Ittymaani Made In China

Ittimany: Made in China,Mohanlal’s big Onam release, could have been a fun family film, but it’s unfortunately pretty hard to sit through. The hero (Malayali Mohanlal, don’t ask) is the offspring of a Chinese father (Mohanlal again!) and Malayali mother and is apparently inspired by some “Chinese model” to make money by hook or crook. The Chinese link is about as convincing as a Tinkle story—it’s limited to an aerial shot of the Great Wall of China, Dad Mohanlal in a ridiculous hairdo and fancy ‘Chinese’ clothes and Ittimany’s absurd habit of breaking into Chinese one-liners in between. What follows is Ittymani’s tryst in Kerala with some Chinese attitude as his handbook.

Ittymani gets that typical reverential superstar account—he is in his early 40s (!) unmarried (still bride-hunting and has already seen 35 women), charmer, multi-faceted and a gold-hearted darling in general. The initial part of the narrative tells viewers about Ittymani and his many feats. He lives with his elderly mother (KPAC Lalitha, who sleepwalks through her role), runs a small Chinese restaurant that’s in bad shape and also sells duplicate goods. It’s a typical village from a Malayalam movie, with a prominent church, vicar, small-time businessman and other characters. There is Aju Varghese playing Ittymani’s yes man and uttering salacious lines, while Salim Kumar is in the movie for no apparent reason. But there is a nice bit featuring Siddique, who plays the priest, and how Ittymani meets him in the first place. The closest one gets to an antagonist is Hareesh Kanaran’s Pothan, who is smarting because Ittymani, after agreeing to marry his sister (Honey Rose), tried to swindle money from the broker. 

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The sloppy writing and filmmaking slow down the narrative, which would be ideal for a long-running soap opera on Asianet or Surya TV. Not to forget the...

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