It's a well known fact that many in the film industry are superstitious when it comes to the release of their craft...be it Salman's obsession for Id release or Aamir's belief on a Xmas release. Incidentally, I believe even Shafi might be harboring superstitions or it might be a figment of my imagination. The reason for imagining so is due to the fact that Shafi completed a hat-trick of Xmas hits last year with "Lollypop" (2008), "Chattambinadu" (2009) & "Marykundoru Kunjaadu" (2010). So can he add "Venicile Vyapari" as an another hit to his impressive career graph with Mammootty, who badly needs to finish the year on a high???
The promos has already created a hype as the whole film seems to be shot in retro style. As expected, the plot happens in 1980s when the Ajayan murder case, (Bijumenon: a prominent labour leader) has been giving sleepless nights to the police force. Though there has been circumstantial evidence implicating the involvement of Alikoya (Sreeraman), a feudal trader; the police has been helpless owing to his power & influence. It is at this juncture that Constable Pavithran (Mammooty) is entrusted with the case. To get into the heart of the issue, Pavithran disguises as a trader which eventually leads him to get acquainted with Ajayan's sister Ammu (Kavya Madhavan). In due time, his business prospers & that invites the wrath of the Chungathara family. So will he able to safeguard his true purpose or gets eliminated in the process???
Whenever the name Shafi props up, the audience relates his films to be high on entertainment with comedy being the main ingredient. Here too, the build of the plot in the first half did inspire hopes though there was a definite void in terms of spark. James Albert, who had delivered good scripts in the form of "Classmates", "Cycle" etc., fails to live upto expectations. The film moves along predictable lines & fails to brings about any unexpected twists or turns in the second half. However, the cinematography & art direction does deserve a word of praise for recreating the 80s feel in terms of costumes & locales, which though slackens off in the latter half. Bijibal fails to impress with his music with the remixed version of the classic "Kannum Kannum" being a damp squid.
The role of Pavithran, hardly posed any challenges to Mammootty who tried his best to breathe some life into the lifeless script. Kavya does have her moments in the first half but gets side-lined later on. As for the supporting cast, Salim Kumar & Suraj does manage to tickle the funny bone at times.
Verdict: The retro style & the brand names Mammootty & Shafi will ensure a decent opening, but in due time it will fizzle out. With the film hardly providing anything different, its unlikely to create any rushes in this Xmas season. In short, you may as well wait for the movie to come on TV & hope for a wonderful 2012 for Mammootty!!!