Over the years, the standard of Malayalam films has drastically reduced to being mediocre in most of the cases. However, 2011 brought in a breath of fresh air with many credible & acclaimed films. Even Lalettan was instrumental for such a change by being part of a brilliant movie like "Pranayam". It also goes without saying that it was well & truly Lalettan's year with all his films hitting the bull's eye. So hoping to cash in on the purple patch, Lalettan kicks off this year with Rosshan Andrews's "Casanova". Billed as the most expensive Malayalam film ever, the question is whether it would able to recover its humongous costs???
If Abu Dhabi was the location of Lalettan's "Oru Marubhumi Kadha", this time around its the turn of "City of Gold", Dubai. The film unfolds with four young criminals experts in parkour orchestrating a heist in a monastery. They have been hood winking the Interpol for quite time & their latest heist was just a prelude to their larger plans. At this juncture, Casanova (Lalettan), the floral Mogul known for his extravagant lifestyle & playboy activities makes his entry to attend the function of a business tycoon. Incidentally, this was the target of the gang & they sneak into the function posing as part of Casanova's team. Soon it turns out that Casanova knew about their motive & hatches a plan to take them down through a reality TV programme rather than going to Interpol. So what was the reason behind Casanova's vendetta against the gang???
The interesting aspect of "Casanova" is undoubtedly the credentials of the technicians with Rosshan Andrews calling the shots after impressive films like "Udayananu Thaaram", "Notebook" & "Evidam Swargamanu". Similarly, Bobby Sanjay the architects of acclaimed films like "Traffic", "Notebook" & "Ente Veedum Appuvinteyum", wields their pens yet again. However,this time around they have failed miserably as they have come up with a script jotted with loopholes which in effect is a pale shadow of their previous ones. The first half does manage to instill a sense of anticipation but the amateurish heist & Casanova's plans to lure them into love fails to impress. The second half, was even depressing as it drags along with an uninspiring chemistry between Lalettan & Shriya culminating in a tame climax.
Inspite of such a lousy script, Lalettan has done total justice to his role but it wouldnt be prudent to accept the fact that it hardly challenged an actor of his brilliance. As for the remaining cast, Jagathy reprises his role from "Sagar Alias Jacky", Riaz Khan was convincing as the Interpol officer but wasnt offered much opportunity while the female brigade of Lakshmi Rai, Shriya & Roma were more for eye candy than performance. Gopi Sundar's music & BGM was commendable especially "Hey Manohara", which deserves special praise for its choreography as well. The visuals by Jim Ganesh was impressive though Lalettan's hair stylist could have done a much better job in the second half.
Verdict: Touted as the most expensive Malayalam film ever, it would have an earth shattering opening owing to the hype & credentials of the crew.Rather than busting money on exotic locales, expensive cars etc., they could have invested much more in making the heist more professional & stylish which tests the intelligence of Interpol who looks equally inept as the criminals. Frankly speaking, I do wonder what the producers "Confident Group" was confident about this film as its likely to incur huge losses. So in short, you may as well check it out on Tv as "Sagar Alias Jacky" seems a classic in comparison!!!