It's been about a week since "Munnariyippu" had hit the screens but since I have been strapped for time, I wasn't able to pen down my thoughts about it. I am sure most of you would have heard by now that it's fantastic & quite distinct from the manner it has been treated as opposed to the ones that are being dished out. It's unique for sure but did it work for me...hmm, well not as much. So why was the experience not so awe inspiring for me???
Anjali Arakkal (Aparna Gopinath) is a free lance journalist, who sustained herself as a competent ghost writer...but her ultimate aim was to make a name for herself in the journalism world as she had the talent & panache for it. On the behest of an eminent journalist, KK (Prathap Pothen) she was entrusted with the task of being the ghost writer for the Jail Superintendent, Rama Murthy (Nedumudi Venu). Her interactions with the Superintendent led her to get acquainted with C K Raghavan (Mammootty), a convict jailed for a double homicide. However, Raghavan's insistence that he was innocent & his philosophical comments, stirs the journalistic instincts in Anjali & she runs a feature on him in a leading magazine which wins her a great deal of accolades. But when a leading book firm offers her a handsome contract for Raghavan's autobiography, little did she realize as to what she has got herself into.
Venu, is one name which doesn't need any introduction as he is a cinematographer par excellence & had been honoured with the National Award thrice. He has already tried his hand in direction with the interesting "Daya" which happened more than a decade back. So when he announced his second venture, it did generate a great deal of interest & expectations. The main highlight of the movie is Venu's script itself that is devoid of any kind of filmy gimmicks or masala, in short a stark depiction of life. Another aspect that I absolutely loved were the dialogues which were thought provoking at times. However, there are numerous instances where I kinda felt the film was sluggish as barely nothing happens for long periods of time. The climax was good & made sense of the previous scenes but still I would have preferred a more engaging screenplay.
Mammootty absolutely rocked as the protagonist as he breathed life into the character in a convincing manner. His constant admission of innocence, wry smile & insightful observations of life seemed absolutely realistic. After numerous pathetic scripts, he finally lands with one which does make use of his acting skills. Aparna Gopinath was equally impressive & stands toe to toe with Mammookka. The remaining cast was also aptly chosen be it Nedumudi Venu, Renji Panicker, Joy Mathew etc; but I felt Prithviraj's guest appearance didnt make much sense as it had no impact whatsoever.
Verdict: With the Onam releases hitting the screens from today, the collection of the film could get severely dented. It might not be palatable for some as the film does drag at times & requires the audience to assimilate many of the sequences. From a personal point of view, I absolutely loved the climax but would have preferred a more engaging buildup!!!