Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25 is a delightful mix n’ match of two classic genres. A typical Malayalam family entertainer with a thattu kada (tea shop), prying villagers etc. and the good old Artificial Intelligence science fiction. The humour in the movie is very Malayali and the whirring, robotic voice of Kunjappan contributes to sci-fi aspect. The scene where Kunjappan stands in line in a ration shop is hilarious. The only problem I felt with the movie is that it could have been made much more philosophical. I will elaborate below.
The movie wonderfully showcases the developing relationship between Bhaskaran Poduval and Android Kunjappan. It also subtly shows the jealousy of Bhaskaran’s son Subrahmanyan towards Kunjappan. It clearly indicates that Bhaskaran has always made a comparison between the robot and his son. I would have loved if the makers had lingered a bit more in the moment when the robot chokes Subrahmanyan. They could have created a sense of tension or could have made it a situation where Bhaskaran had to chose between his son and the robot. I am not particularly dissatisfied with the present climax of the movie. It ends on a quite an interesting note by blurring the boundaries between the character of Subrahmanyan and Kunjappan.
There is a scene (somewhere in a song) where Kunjappan looks into the mirror. The director wastes this moment. He could have used the great recurring theme in AI sci-fi movies, sentience. Instead he disappoints as Kunjappan just wonders what he is wearing (which is mundu). Probably he thought a robot looking in a mirror is enough to allude sentience.
Overall, I loved the movie. A wonderful performance by Suraj. The theme is quite fresh and new. It is just that it could have been made in a way such that it had a universal appeal. People might argue that the movie is made keeping the commercial success in mind. But I doubt concentrating on the sci-fi and philosophical aspect a bit more would have decreased the mass appeal of the movie. The director was aiming less with such a brilliant idea.