Since the beginning of last year, Malayalam industry is seen to be going through a period of transition with the influx of young blood & fresh ideas. Though this has been great news, it invariably found many of the stalwarts struggling to break out of their mold as is evident in the case of director Fazil & Sathyan Anthikad to a certain extent. However, Sibi Malayil who redefined the Malayalam films of the early 80's & 90s's has made a conscious effort to venture out of his comfort zone with films like "Violin", "Apoorvaragam", "Flash" etc. which however failed to replicate his golden years. This week he has come out with his latest venture "Unnam", which has got the audience excited with its catchy posters & promos. But is the film as enticing???
Remakes has been flooding the industry since the past few years which either indicates a dearth of ideas or to cash in on the success of the original. Anywaz, "Unnam" is the rip off the critically acclaimed "Johnny Gaddar", which catapulted Neil Nitin Mukesh into reckoning. The film unfolds with C.I Balakrishna (Sreenivasan) getting his hands on a consignment of heroin with which he plans to make some quick money. He seeks the help of his long time friend & retired gangster, Sunny (Lal) to sell off the stuff. Seeing this as an opportunity to help out his struggling friends, Aloshy (Asif Ali), Tommy (Prashant Narayanan), Murugan (Nedumudi Venu) & Basheer; Sunny agrees to the deal. Each of them pitches in money to buy the heroin from Balakrishna & Basheer is entrusted with the task of delivering the cash. But their plan goes haywire, as Basheer gets killed & the money goes missing. Did someone else comes to know about their plan or was it one among them???
Unlike, "Johnny Gaddar", the screenplay by Swati Bhaskar over here is shaky mainly owing to the not so convincing performance by Asif Ali. Sibi Malayil has managed to do justice to his craft to a certain extent but the first half is surely not as gripping as it ought to be . Things does gets better in the second half & the climax sequence is likely to garner applause. The music by John P Varkey was mediocre & disrupts the pace in the latter half, while the sets showcased as the interiors of Tommy's hotel was appalling.
As I have already mentioned, Asif Ali's performance left a lot to be desired for as he fails to portray the insecurity & yet scheming mentality of the character convincingly. All the others have managed to do their roles aptly but the winner for me is undoubtedly, Prashant Narayanan known for his praise worthy acts in "Via Darjeeling", "Waisa bhi hota hai" or the more recent "Murder 2"; who gives an impressive performance. I wouldn't be surprised if this film opens up more opportunities for him in Malayalam.
Verdict: The catchy promos & posters along with no other major releases should ensure a decent opening. Though it did have a credible script, the execution & performances weren't able to impart a gripping feel to the film. In short, it's an average fare & you may check it out if you do have the time!!!