As we almost reach the half way stage of 2011, it could be safely said that this year has been pretty good for the Malayalam film industry. Within this span, there has been a host of movies with varying subjects making the box office bells ring to its tune. However, things hasn't been looking so bright for Mammootty who had enjoyed unparalleled success both critically & commercially the last couple of years. With two of his movies already drawing blanks, he is looking forward to break the jinx with Jayaraj, whose previous venture "Loudspeaker" was incidentally with Mammootty itself. So will this combination bring about a change in Mammootty's fortunes???
In addition to wielding the mike, Jayaraj has also taken upon the scripting task & has made the Mumbai train bombings of July 11th,2006 as the theme. The film tracks the happenings of the last 12 hours leading to the devastating blasts through the lives of four sets of people. Kedarnath (Mammootty) is a Commander of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, who stumbles upon a suspect whom he believes is planning a terrorist attack. In the meantime, the film depicts the changes in the lives of Karthik (Jayasurya),on his way to Chennai to audition for A.R Rahman, Meera (Sheena Chouhan) who embraces life following an anonymous call, Suhana (Sabitha Jayaraj) who runs from pillar to pillar trying to acquire her grandfather's long delayed pension for his Haj expenses & finally the relationship between a grandfather & his grandson.
The biggest challenge in selecting a real event is how to make it all the more engrossing by intermingling fact with fiction. Unfortunately, Jayaraj has totally failed in his effort as he wasnt able to create any sense of anticipation in the audience. Inspite of being a shade under 2 hours, the film labours along so slowly making it appear much longer with hardly anything happening. The sequences itself seem so irrelevant & disjointed that you dont sympathise with what actually happens to the characters. The protagonist, Kedarnath seems to be the supercop who even goes to the extent of searching for a suspect in Mumbai CST which is like searching for a pin in a hay stack. Come on yaar!!! there has to be more officers in the force.
In the performance department, Mammootty has done a fine job as Kedarnath; but the lack of a credible script offers him very little opportunity to improvise. Jayasurya as usual has done a fine job while both Sabitha Jayaraj & Sheena Chouhan were conscious of the camera. As for the remaining cast, there is nothing much to write home about. Coming to the technical aspects, the music by Srinivas though fine was totally ill placed & at times unwanted as well. The editing by Vivek Harshan could have been tighter while the visuals by Seenu were decent.
Verdict: As I has mentioned earlier, the lack of an impressive script is going to be the bane of the movie. It seems that Mammootty has lost the Midas's touch for the time being & will have to wait until the next release for a hit. In short, "The Train" failed to reach the destination & gets derailed, the choice is now yours!!!