Director: Deepu Karunakaran
Cast: Prithviraj, Akhila, Suraj Venjaramoodu
A piece of crap!
If there's a movie that deserves to be called crap, this is it. A movie is the product of many months of hard work by so many people, so I don't use words like 'crap' lightly. Even though I had read a lot of bad reviews, I didn't expect it to be this bad.
Prithviraj likes to say that he will only agree to a movie after he reads the full script. Really? That must mean that Prithvi liked this script. That says a lot about his sensibility, and the amount of trust we the audience can place in his judgment.
I think Prithviraj made a serious error in judgement with this movie. All the talk about being the next superstar of Malayalam cinema must've gone to his head. In his rush to don that mantle, he chose a script where he is a Billa-like don. Unfortunately, the script was poorly developed. Even worse, neither the actor nor the director seems to have given much thought to developing the Don's mannerisms. He just doesn't come across as scary. His physique looks small next to his posse. His face is just too young to be that of a hardened criminal who worked his way up the ranks. And his expressions just did not have any gravitas.
They should've spent more time developing the relationship between Vedika and Roshan/Teja. We should've been shown how they met and how their love developed. They should not have come to Kerala for the wedding and to put together the fake family until right before the intermission. Also, it would've been better if she was in on the whole charade from the beginning. As it is, Teja comes to Kerala from Malaysia about 20-30 mins into the movie, and the rest of the movie just drags mercilessly.
The marketing team has to be commended, because they did a really good job creating the impression that this would be a good entertainer. Teja Bhai is a perfect example that good marketing is more important than even story or script to the success of a movie.
The music is the only saving grace in this farce. "Hey Baby" and the remixed "Oru Madhura Kinavin" are two of my new favorites. Deepak Dev did a really good job with the songs. "Hey Baby" has the feel of songs from old Hollywood musicals. It's such a hummable tune that stays with you long after you hear it. And it was picturized beautifully. The background music during the titles also deserve mention. It builds anticipation and puts you in the right mood.
Unfortunately everything after the titles is a joke, except it's not funny.
Here's a really funny review about this movie from the blog VR Talkies: Tejabhai & Family - The best comedy film ever!! :P