Friday, December 17, 2010

Kandahar review : "Half baked mission!!!"

The much awaited "Kandahar" finally hit the screens across the country with around 125 prints, making it to be the biggest ever release  for a Malayalam venture. Mohanlal movies' inevitably draws a huge initial & with this one having the added attraction of one of the biggest legends of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan; the expectations & anticipations were going through the roof. So will the movie do justice to the caliber of two of the finest actors in the world????

Mohanlal is back once again as Major Mahadevan & this time with his team of commandos is involved in foiling a hijack. The first half of the movie focuses on the life of Surya (Ganesh Venkitaraman) , the only son of Loknath Sharma (Amitabh Bachchan) who is an idealistic & well known teacher in Ooty. Though a trained pilot, Surya fails to land with a plump job. By chance, Major Mahadevan meets up with Surya & advices him to join the Army. As expected with time Surya becomes a fine officer & thats when an Air India  flight gets hijacked with the demand that the dreaded terrorist, Masood be released in exchange for the passengers. Can Major Mahadevan & his team pull this off or will bureaucracy bow to the demands of the terrorists???

Just as with his previous ventures, the script is by Major Ravi. But sorry to say, this is definitely his weakest to date. The first half focuses on the relationship between father & son.; with the latter part  on his Army training,. Though a touch too melodramatic at times, its pretty fine & doesnt take a toll on the audience. With the intermission creating a build up, one is naturally looking forward to the second half, for the mission. But this is where Major Ravi has got it all wrong. The mission is just too amateurish & looked too damn easy...not to forget the appalling climax . He spent way too much time focusing on melodrama rather than on the actual mission. The thread of the story is obviously the Kandahar hijack incident of 1999 & he has fictionalised it in his own way. There's no problem with that, but atleast have a proper vision rather than making it so gawky.

Major Ravi with Big B & Lalettan
Coming to performances, Mohanlal has once again enacted Mahadevan's role to perfection, though I cant help thinking that he has been woefully wasted owing to a below par script. Big B also delivers a memorable performance & the scenes between the two veterans are truly the highlights of the movie. However, Ganesh was disappointing & fails to impart naturality to his character especially in the first half. The beautiful Sumalatha & Ananya is hardly noticed & makes you wonder as to why they were even there in the movie.

As for other technical aspects, cinematography by Ravi Verman was decent while the editing by Don Max was top notch with a special mention  for the title tracks. The soul of most patriotic movies are powerfully worded songs & this has been given life by Shamir Tandon with "Aye Janani" & "Ho Chup He" rendered by Sonu Nigam & Kailash Kher being the best among the lot.

Verdict: With around 6.5 crores riding on the movie, such a huge opening will go a long way in helping it to break even. However, with such a weak script to harbour hopes of this being a hit will be to be too optimistic.Personally speaking, I dont expect nothing more than an average run at the max . In short, watch it just for the sheer pleasure of watching these great actors sharing screen space or else its better to give it a miss!!!


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