Chess, one of the most intriguing & thought provoking game has been part of human history with references dating back to centuries. The adroitness of the player is brought to the fore as he tries to outwit his opponent at each & every move, worthy of a Grandmaster. It is this characteristic that B.Unnikrishnan has endowed upon the protagonist in his latest venture "Grandmaster". With UTV taking their first steps in Malayalam industry, a great deal of hope & anticipation is vested with this release. So can the Lalettan-Unnikrishnan combo recreate the "Madambi" days???
With crime rates escalating with each passing day the Metro Crime Stopper Cell was created to put a tight leash on it with Chandrasekhar (Mohanlal) as the head of the unit. However, he has been leading a life of detachment & brooding ever since he divorced his wife, Deepthi (Priyamani), a leading criminal lawyer. It was at this juncture that Cochin was rocked by the abduction of three gals which swings Chandrasekhar into action. This was followed by an anonymous letter from "Z" who openly challenges Chandrasekhar to a game of tactical acumen failing which serial murders would happen. So who was "Z" & will Chandrasekhar take up this dangerous game???
Coming on the back of an abysmal track record since "Madambi", Unnikrishnan had lots to prove & also pay back the faith that UTV had vested in him. Lucky for him, he has pretty much hit the bull's eye here, with an impressive script which though not outstanding had all the makings of a compact & engaging thriller. The first half builds up the premise in a rather trite manner without being boring.But from the second half, the film kicks into over-drive culminating in an absorbing climax. Deepak Dev's music was average though the BGM did enhance the impact of certain sequences.
After the insignificant guest appearance in the forgetful "Tezz", Lalettan is back with his brilliant portrayal as the sombre yet intuitive Chandrasekhar. Though the two "Big M's", hasnt been striking gold regularly at the box office; when it comes to performance they are indeed the "Big Daddies" & Lalettan's performance is proof of that. The supporting cast of Priyamani, Jagathy, Narain, Anoop Menon & Siddique have all done justice to their roles along with Babu Antony, back in a meaningful role after quite some time.
Verdict: Being the masters of marketing, UTV have done their homework ensuring that "Grandmaster" garnered adequate publicity. Their efforts will bear fruit with the film likely to get an impressive opening in all the centres. Add to that, Lalettan's wizardy in tandem with Unnikrishnan's engaging script & we have got a winner. In short, definitely worth a watch!!!