A scene from the movie Kudumbasree Travels. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Cast Jayaram, Bhavana and Jagathy Sreekumar
Director Kiran
Rating G

Actor Jayaram, who has just been honoured with one of India's highest civilian awards, the Padma Shree, has the ability to disappear into a character, not often seen in Indian cinema. In Kiran's debut feature, Kudumbasree Travels, he is seen as a Chakyar. A Brahmin community in Kerala which performs the Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam, the only surviving Sanskrit theatre, Chakyars are a dwindling community.

As a Chakyar, Jayaram (playing Aravindan) without his trademark moustache, brings a rare energy to his role, a country bumpkin living in a remote Kerala village, untouched by modernism. He does not even know how to use a cell phone, and I cannot quite digest this. When Ashwathy (Bhavana), a rich theatre scholar proposes marriage, he faces several obstacles. While Ashwathy's cousin eyes her, Aravindan's uncle Pachu (Jagathy Sreekumar) wants his daughter to marry him, because an astrologer has predicted that it would end the old man's financial woes.

Aravindan, his family and friends, a hilariously motley group of men and women, begin a journey from their village to the city, where Ashwathy lives, in a Kudumbasree Travels' bus. And what a ride it turns out to be, though unfortunately, most of the situations are quite puerile, and the humour itself may not be appreciated by today's audiences. For instance, there's a scene, where the group stops by a river in the city for a bath. And, why? Because they cannot do so at Ashwathy's house before the actual marriage. Fine, but are they so poor that they cannot afford a hotel room?

There is quite a number of such ridiculous episodes throughout the movie.

Obviously, the story and the script lack logic and rationality, and Kudumbasree Travels sinks into a chaotic chain of sub-plots, each sillier than the other.