It's more than a month since I have been active in my blog. With my Phd just a few months away from completion, I have been kinda busy with that; not to mention the dearth of Malayalam releases in Bangalore. This week however, Mammookka's "Praise the Lord" was released here & that naturally tempted me to check it out as the trailer seemed interesting. Hope the Lord smiles on Ikka as it's been quite some time since he had a resounding success.
Joychayan (Mammookka) is an affluent Central Travancore planter who led a contented life with his wife, Ancy (Reenu Mathews) & kids. Life went on at a leisurely pace for Joy as he wiled away time taking care of his ancestral property and with his friends in the evenings. Things take a turn when Joy is coaxed by his friend, Adv. Sunny (Mukesh) to provide refuge for two lovers Samkutty (Ahmed Siddique) & Annie (Akansha Puri) who were on the run to escape from the wrath of Kunjutty (Joy Mathew), Samkutty's father. What made the couple all the more interesting was that they were as different as chalk and cheese with Samkutty being a devout while Annie being more of a brat. So will Joychayan turn out to be their savior???
Based on Paul Zacharia's novel by the same name , "Praise the Lord" is the directorial debut of Shibu Gangadharan. Since I haven't read the novel, I don't know whether he has done justice to it but from a cinematic point of view it was definitely a huge let down. T.P Devarajan's screenplay was pretty pedestrian, since inspite of the premise for a humorous initial half, they barely did anything. But even then the first half seemed fine as Ikka & Reenu's combination worked well. The latter half was however a downward slide culminating in a whimsical climax. Shaan Rehman's music was average with "Sharon Vaniyil" being my personal favourite while none of the other aspects deserves special mention.
Mammookka has always excelled in Achayan roles & here too, he has done a good job but then we cant help wishing for a better sketched character. Reenu seemed an apt choice as his wife & she has done justice to her role. Ahmed Siddique felt monotonous and irritating while Akansha fitted her role only physically. As for the rest, Mukesh, Suresh Krishna, Joy Mathew etc. barely had much to do & sleep walked through their roles.
Verdict: With almost quarter of a year over, it seems 2014 couldn't have gotten off to a worser start for the Malayalam film industry. Out of the 40 movies released, only 2 have been hits with another 3 breaking even & from the look of things, this one will find it hard to stay afloat. For a person who hasn't read the novel, it made me feel whether this was worth the effort as it seemed more apt for a telefilm. In short, may Lord show mercy on the producers!!!