Sajid Yahiya's latest movie 'Mohanlal' hasn't got a single sequence casting the eponymous Malayalam superstar. Yet, the actor's presence is palpable throughout the movie.
The film focuses on the miseries and tantrums of a die-hard Mohanlal fan, an eccentric character played by M'town's own leading lady Manju Warrier. Meenakshi, aka Meenukutty, is a indeed a milestone in Manju's second innings. Against the stereotypical single mother characters she's been essaying since her come-back to the industry in 2014, Meenukutty's jovial character is crazy about the popular Malayalam actor. The movie, which is a visual treat to Mohanlal fans, is perhaps a journey through the complex psyche of the legend's fans. The film also raises a toast to their camaraderie. Fittingly, 'Mohanlal fans' anthem is played towards the end.
Indrajith's Sethumadhavan is the best lover and husband any woman could wish for. His stability in delivering throat-trembling, poignant dialogues and expressions is truly enviable.
The eccentric character of Meenukkutty is justified by placing it amid a row of subtle, realistic characters with all weirdness. Audience takes a while to accept Meenukutty, the over-emotional, over-reacting, over-smart lass, but once they do, she turns out to be their own special child.
Soubin Sahir wows us as a nomad, accompanied by his pet dog 'Bhaskar'. For the makers of 'Mohanlal,' even the stray dogs you see on Kerala's streets are crazy about 'Lalettan'. Yahia's previous movie 'IDI' was also audience-specific movie, for that matter. The director himself has made a special appearance in his latest movie, needless to say, as a Mohanlal fan.
The film also gains from other powerful performers like KPAC Lalitha, Balachandran Chullikkad, Sreejith Ravi, Sethulakshmi and Krishnakumar. Salim Kumar raises a roar of laughter in the movie halls with his cameo appearance as gangster Satan Jose. The versatile actor makes the best out of his recent frail looks.
Aju Varghese's 'Amod sir' is one of the most treacherous, yet humorous villain characters Mollywood has recently seen. Bijukkuttan, Jithan Soubhagom and their gang have unleashed genuine performance as Mohanlal fans.
The film idolises Mohanlal as the epitome of Malayalam cinema and captures a society's love and passion for the superstar. It has a couple of nicely woven romantic song numbers, exciting action sequences and ample emotional drama.
The crew has captured the changing times in Kerala's film industry with appropriate use of costumes, background scores, hairstyles and even lighting.
Rating: 2.5 / 5