At a time when campus romance, action thrillers, political satires, and slapstick comedy dominated Malayalam cinema, 'popular actor' Dileep rattled the box office playing a thief, who robbed from the haves and distributed it among the have-nots. That was way back in 2002 through Lal Jose's 'Meesa Madhavan'. The disclaimer is for the inquisitive readers: This is a review of S. L. Puram Jayasurya's 'Jack and Daniel' which treads a path similar to 'Meesa Madhavan'.
Madhavan, who twirled his moustache whenever he sighted an object worth stealing, remains the Dileep's best thief avatar so far. Just like Gopalan in the 2008-flick 'Crazy Gopalan', Jack lacks the panache to dethrone Madhavan.
Jack - a polished, city-bred, new-age version of Madhavan - is artificial and pretentious in his way compared to his celebrated predecessor. Like Madhavan's lady love Rugmini (Kavya Madhvan), Susmitha, played by Anju Kurien, gets close with Jack with an intention of trapping him. She also ends up falling for the thief.
Staying true to his name, Jack is a 'Jack of all trades' and uses his skills to succeed at his 'profession'.The crime story takes the thriller-turn when CBI officer Daniel Alexander, played by none other than 'Action King' Arjun, is assigned to capture Jack.
The rendezvous between Jack and Daniel makes the movie engaging. J&D is studded with thrilling fight sequences, thanks to Peter Hein who also makes a cameo appearance in this movie. Dileep has worked hard on his body to match-up to his costar Arjun, who is known for his fitness and fights. Like always, Arjun has done a great job with as a cop. His furious fights, swift moves and attitude suit his character well.
S. L. Puram Jayasurya has attempted to slam corrupt politicians, fake nationalists, and dishonest cops while paying tribute to army martyrs and their families. It vehemently criticizes the red-tape bureaucracy in India, which is created to only trouble laymen and to keep them at bay.
Amid all the clamour, the protagonist manages to transform into a Dark Messiah fighting for a cause. However, it does not stop him from being the male chauvinist who considers all women enjoying their time at a shopping mall restaurant as housewives flirting with their paramours. From a women's perspective, the script makes Anju Kurien's Susmitha cut a sorry figure by making her look like a fool during her attempt to capture Jack.
Saiju Kurup, G Suresh Kumar, Asokan, Sadique and Janardanan play major characters in the movie. Innocent keeps the plot engaging through his typical situational humour.
The technically neat movie has captured the beauty of Goa and Fort Kochi in all their glories.
EndNote: A thief is never wrong even if the whole cabinet is.