After a mediocre track record in the past 2 years. Mohanlal seems to have given some serious thought as to how to get the box-office singing. As part of that he has signed a host of movies with all the bigwigs this year & looking by the scheme of things, its encouraging signs early on as his previous venture "Christian Brothers" though low on content but high on entertainment was a hit. To cash in on the Vishu season, Mohanlal becomes part of yet another multi-star cast involving Jayaram & Dileep in "Chinatown" & helmed by the entertainment mavericks Rafi Mecartin. Hmm...so will it hit the jackpot yet again????
Goa is always associated with gambling,drugs & parties..& incidentally the premise that Rafi Mecartin has chosen is gambling in the form of a casino called 4 Star. The movie unfolds in 1986 where four partners are successfully running the casino much to the displeasure of the gangster, Gawda (Pradeep Rawat). As expected he finishes off the partners with one of them somehow escaping his clutches. Its 2011 now & the partner who had escaped death, Gomez (Captain Raju) is back in Goa. Soon enough he sets up a new casino & searches for his slayed partners' sons so as to to hand them over the administration as a good will gesture. It turns out that the sons of the partners were Mathewkutty (Mohanlal), a rowdy presently on the path of redemption; Zachariah (Jayaram), a broken automotive sales manager & Binoy (Dileep), a road Romeo. Soon enough they land up in Goa & contemplate on selling the casino before ill luck strikes in the form of Gawda, who had become the Don of the area along with the backing of political power. So will the sons meet with the same fate as their fathers or will the tables be turned this time around???
Its interesting to observe that Rafi Mecartin has pretty much handled everything from story,screenplay, dialogues & direction in this venture. In the script department, they have definitely been influenced by the Hollywood hit, "The Hangover" style of depiction in the second half. We normally dont associate a high content story in Rafi Mecartin's movies, but they are always high in entertainment with good comic sequences. The biggest flaw in "Chinatown" is however its comedy itself; there are genuinely hilarious moments in the first half but in the latter half the comedy is so appalling & outrageous that it more or less wrecks the movie. We cant help wonder as to why the directors are trying too hard to make people laugh, as the comedy seemed so laboured. As for the music by Jassie Gift, except for "Arikil Ninnalum" rendered by M.G Sreekumar & Chitra,the others were average. All other aspects doesnt require much of a mention.
Looking for the elusive hit, Mohanlal is going all out ; though in this venture he hasnt done anything special, he seemed fine for his role. A special mention goes for his dancing skills to the song "Innu Peninnu", its after a long time that I have seen him dance so well. Jayaram was fine as well while Dileep was simply unbearable at times especially in the second half. Pradeep Rawat has done his role apt enough for a typical villain which involves looking fearful initially & finally getting bashed up by the good guys. Suraj continues with his usual trademark antics while the female leads just had to look good.
Verdict: It will certainly have a fantastic opening owing to the star cast & Rafi Mecartin's track record in addition to the fact that "Doubles" is a washout. With not much competition brewing in the near future, it should recover its costs without much trouble along with an extended run for "Urumi". As far as my opinion goes, the first half does have its hilarious moments but the second half is pathetic especially the climax. In short, if you dont mind watching some insane comedy, you can give it a try!!!