Michael Madana Kamaraju is another summertime comedy, but quite a drag for the most part. The first half is slow, without any genuine humor and lacklustre direction. The second half picks up slowly, predictably after the entry of Michael played by Prabhu Deva. The whole conjob affair it becomes and the utterly simplistic end has been inspired from several movies (same goes for the music) including Mujhse Shaadi Karoge.
Plot Madan owns a fashion designing company and judges an event in Goa, where he goes with his cousin Kamaraju, a photographer. Archana wins the event, and a few squabbles later a friendship is formed, ending with Archana getting a job in Madan's office as creative head. Kamaraju falls in love with Mandira, who reciprocates; he brings her with him to Hyderabad where James (Brahmanandam) follows claiming her to be his lover. Madan doesn't approve of Kamaraju's relationship, and "hates love" so to make him confess his love for Archana, Kamaraju prints a wedding invitation with Archana's photograph next to a photograph he picks up from a studio. This happens to be Michael's photograph, and Madan truly believes that he is her fiance Ravi, so he meets up with him and requests him to null the engagement. Michael, a petty crook, smells opportunity and instead decides to impress and marry Archana, and the confusion begins.
Story, Screenplay and Direction The screenplay is divided into two major and contrasting halves: the first half where nothing much happens and the second where there are innummerable things going on at once. The humor quotient in the first half is not much, while there are a few laughs in the second. Brahmanandam as James (akin to Khan Dada, but nowhere close) playing all the stunts which Hrithik does in Dhoom 2, albiet with humorous results, is amusing. The inclusion of various characters in the second half and their tracks have their merits in keeping the viewer interest alive. But even there, lot of scenes simply drag.
The whole "hate love" concept has been overdone many times before, and frankly, only Aamir Khan looked really cool doing that in Dil Chahta Hai; it is doubtful whether Aamir himself will be able to repeat the act to successful results. If you've seen that once, you've seen it a hundred times. Kamaraju and Mandira's track starts off being extremely juvinile. Madan and Michael's rivalry is similar to Salman-Akshay in Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, and an entire scene has been lifted from the movie too.
The story has many threads starting off and laying there awhile, only to pick up finally somewhere towards the end. Like other comedies, logic is sometimes discarded, although admittedly less because it is not a out-and-out comic flick. It has it's moments, but it would be much better with a good 30 minutes of editing and chopping work on it. The music is just okay.
Performances Srikanth as Madan is justified. Suneel adds to the energy element, even in the drab first half. Prabhudeva's entry, although low-key, spices up the movie from thereon. Charmme plays her part well, Asha Saini has nothing much to do expect sizzle in a bikini or other similar garments, but she looks at ease after an obvious break. Kota Srinivas Rao as a failed actor who acts as Michael/Ravi's father is funny while Sarala who acts as his mother is loud as usual, but amusing in her own way. Brahmanandam has the meatiest role after Suneel (not even Madan who hovers in the background looking distraught or dreaming up dances). He will not top his Khan Dada, and James does not even come close to 'Chari garu' (Dhee), but it is one of the pluses in the movie. Venumadhav and Ali have litte to do in thier cameos.
Music and Dance Mediocre, but at least Prabhudeva's dance is as good as ever.
Bottom-Line A drab first half and an average second half, with some funny moments and situations infused in it. Overall, no great shakes.