Mohanlal and Asha Sharath in ‘Drama’. Image Credit: Supplied

The premise of Drama — about respecting a mother’s last wish — is heart warming, but it soon turns its focus on the lead actor, Mohanlal, thus becoming a tragedy of errors.

The film opens in Dubai, where Jomon is on the phone with his mother, Rosamma (Arundhati Nag), now in London with her youngest daughter, Mercy (Kaniha). She tells him that whenever she dies she would like to be buried next to her husband in Kattapana, Kerala.

In London, Rosamma is happy spending time with Mercy and her children. It’s a bright morning when her end comes.

The scene preceding her demise is beautiful. Wearing a fine sari, Rosamma is ready to take on the day. Her son-in-law (Shyamaprasad) compliments her. After waving her grandchildren off to school, she picks a bunch of fresh flowers and goes to her bedroom. She lies down, cross in hand and prayers on her lips. Slumber takes over and a peaceful Rosamma departs still holding the flowers.

The funeral will take place in London and Rosamma’s four other children, living in different parts of the world, arrive at Mercy’s home. There is nothing new in the characterization of Rosamma’s children — a stingy and bossy elder brother, a greedy son-in-law and a manipulative older sister. Why is the youngest always the under-achiever who ultimately cares for the parents?

Dixon Lopez Funeral Services, an undertaker agency, is entrusted with the funeral arrangements. But Jomon is not happy. Remembering his mother’s last conversation, he wants to take her body home to Kattapana to be laid next to his father’s grave.

Intended to be a satire around Rosamma’s funeral, the story veers off track with the arrival of Rajagopal (Mohanlal), the other partner of Lopez. The drama now shifts from Rosamma’s family politics to Rajagopal, who is trying to win his wife (Asha Sharath) back and find his way home. There is enough drama, though it’s of little significance. Mohanlal entertains audiences, no doubt, especially the scene where he shares his drink and chocolate bar with Rosamma lying in the coffin box.

Drama suffers from patchy writing. Despite a formidable cast — Dileesh Pothen, whose Lopez keeps you chuckling as he tries to make the most of this business opportunity; Asha Sharath as Rajagopal’s wife in a role that does little justice to her potential and Renji Panicker as the local political leader — Drama disappoints. The sexist jokes thrown in are old hash and barely tickle. Neither can the splendid visuals of London save the sagging script.

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Drama releases in the UAE on November 22.