Verdict: A movie sprinkled with witty one-liners and stellar performances.
With its light-hearted teaser and a quirky name, Mohanlal has been a much-awaited release this Vishu. And, by all means, it does not disappoint. The movie is Sajid Yahiya’s second directorial venture after Inspector Dawood Ibrahim. Manju Warrier plays the lead along with Indrajith, Soubin Shahir, Aju Varghese and Sreejith Ravi. The screenplay has been penned by Suneesh Varanad and Sajid himself. The music has been done by Tony Joseph and Prakash Alex. Anil Kumar has produced the flick for Mindset Movies.
What’s Mohanlal all about:
Meenakshi aka Meenukutty (Manju Warrier) was born the same day Mohanlal’s first movie Manjil Virinja Pookal released. For Meenukutty, Mohanlal is a constant in her life. His posters adorn her walls and notebook covers; dialogues from his movies are on her lips and she sees the characters he played in every person she meets. The movie traces the crazy fan’s life through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. She marries her childhood sweetheart Sethumadhavan (Indrajith), who puts up with her obsession till it lands their marriage in trouble. How Mohanlal, who ‘wrecked’ their marriage, saves it, makes for a fun watch.
Manju Warrier gives one of her better performances to date as Meenukutty. She carries the movie firmly on her shoulders with her almost flawless performance. Indrajith, too, shines as the loving and level-headed husband. Soubin Shahir has the audience in splits in his role as a vagabond. His sarcastic one-liners and his dog, Bhaskaran Pillai, lighten the movie. Aju Varghese plays the fraudster Aamod Aluva, who takes advantage of Meenukutty’s blind devotion to Mohanlal. Bijukuttan adds to the fun element as Koonanmaavu Solomon, the district president of the Mohanlal Fans’ Association. The movie also credits fans’ associations for looking out for each other while drumming up support for the actor. The director himself makes a cameo appearance as an auto driver. While the movie proudly celebrates the ardent female fan, it has its share of sexist dialogues, too. Manju helms the action scenes. One has Meenukutty thrashing someone who dares to speak against her favorite actor, while another has her raising her voice against a goon who tried to hurt a girl child. Salim Kumar and Sreejith Ravi have small roles. The movie’s songs like Laletta by Prarthana Indrajith and the fan anthem Chankalla Chankidippaane have already won many hearts. The child artistes who play Meenu and Sethu do well. The little chap who plays Sethu’s childhood friend Sabu, deserves special mention.
What could have been better:
The movie could have been trimmed a bit to make it crisper. Some characters have touch-and-go roles, which do not necessarily add to the story. Maybe their roles could have been refurbished or done away with.
Why you should watch this movie:
Mohanlal is a thorough family entertainer with drama, romance and comedy in good measure. It’s a must-watch for any Mohanlal fan as it sketches his career across 30 years. And even if you are not one, watch it for good laughs.
– By Jan Varghese