Panning the camera on a female fan does give the story a different and interesting dimension, writes Deepa Antony.
Meenakshi, aka Meenukutty and the love of her life, Sethu, aka Sethumadhavan-where have we all heard these names earlier? Mohanlal is a fiesta involving all the popular characters that made Mohanlal a star. Sadly, the film unabashedly ignores many of the characters that manifested his acting prowess.
Mohanlal, the film, opens on the night of 6th October, 2016- the eve before the release of Pulimurugan, the first Malayalam film to make it into the 100 crore club and the highest-grossing Malayalam film till date. It starts as Sethu (Indrajith) goes to the deserted Ramapuram railway station to throw himself in front of a train. While waiting for the train to “end his chapter” he begins to narrate his story to an exuberant, flamboyant and nameless nomad (Soubin Shahir) and his dog. We get to know of how Sethu fell in love with Meenakshi, an ardent and eccentric Mohanlal fan, and how he came to the decision of killing himself.
Indeed, panning the camera on a female fan does give the story a different and interesting dimension. But somewhere in the middle when the story starts getting directionless the uniqueness of the female point of view wanes out. Radio veteran Suneesh Varanad is successful in weaving in some rib-tickling comedy with the dialogues and the screenplay. Yet, not all the Mohanlal movie references he uses in the narrative fit in perfectly. And then the weak story fails to live up to any standard he sets in narrative.
The “lady superstar”, Manju Warrier acts animated, euphoric and even naïve when it comes to her devotion to her favorite star. She plays it a little too over-the-top that her character occasionally slips into being artificial. Indrajith has a solid hold on his character as he plays the loving and considerate husband. Aju Varghese plays an important role as caricature-like as he can. There’s Hareesh Kanaran, Pradeep Kottayam, Sudhi Koppa, Sunil Sukhada, Sajan Palluruthy, Kottayam Nazeer and there’s an abundance of slapstick comedy there! With KPAC Lalitha, Siddique, etc there’s also an abundance of untapped potential from amazing talents too. And Soubin Shahir is the only solace in all of this.
The camera work by Shaji Kumar is designed for the star-fans to create a mass ‘masala effect’. The music by debutant Tony Joseph also fits in with the theme like glue.
More than it being about the star or stardom, Sajid Yahiya’s Mohanlal is truly a tribute to the ‘fan culture’ that surrounds a star. Everything starting from trivializing the thuggery of the fans association to the umpteen Mohanlal movie references to the very Mohanlal fan anthem right at the end of the film, everything celebrates the star’s exhilarating fandom. Unless you can sit through 2.5hrs of sheer sit this one out, because Mohanlal hardly celebrates the brilliant actor. It limits itself to the craze, obsession and mania around the star.
reviewed byDeepa Antony
23 Apr 2018 | 10:23 AM
- directed by
- Sajid Yahiya
- Manju Warrier
- Indrajith Sukumaran