After a hiatus, I finally got to check out a Malayalam movie first day first show in my hometown. It happened to be Dileep's gift for this holiday season in the form of "Ivan Maryadaraman". Surprisingly, it was far from being houseful even though it was a weekend & also keeping in mind of the fact that the family audiences traditionally flock to the theaters whenever his film hit the screens. Frankly speaking, I have been kinda apprehensive of Dileep's movies in the past few years as it has been invariably mediocre. So was this any different or the usual run of the mill???
The film unfolds about 30 years back in Ramapuram & Ravanapuram, two villages which was involved in a serious tussle over the ownership of a temple in their locality. When discussions failed to break the deadlock, both the parties resorted to violence which eventually saw the death of Rudurasimhan, brother of Ravanapuram's village head Narasimhan & Veerabhadran, the village head of Ramapuram. This incites Narasimhan who pledges to take the life of Veerabhadran's son if he ever laid foot on the land. In the present day, Veera's son Ramu (Dileep) is working in a rice mill in Pune & being oblivious of the past, he sets off to Ramapuram to claim the money that his father had deposited on his behalf in the post office. So will Ramu ever make it back alive from this forsaken land???
This venture has been helmed by a debutant, Suresh Divakar who have resorted to remake the Telugu film "Maryada Ramanna" which in itself was inspired from the silent film "Our Hospitality". Though I havent seen the original I had the misfortune of watching its Hindi remake "Son of Sardar" which was pathetic to say the least. Actually the manner in which this has been made (with regard to the customs, costumes, songs etc) made me feel as to why they even bothered to make it in Malayalam as a dubbed version of the Telugu film would have imparted the same effect. The screenplay by the Uday-Siby duo was pedestrian as they fail to make it interesting apart from a couple of humorous sequences in the train. None of the technical aspects deserves special mention, as Gopi Sundar's music was average while Johnkutty ought to have used his scissors to good effect as it lags at many places & the length of the movie does test our patience.
In the performance department, I fail to understand as to why Dileep wants to keep repeating his stereotypical roles. Unless he tries out something different, I wont be surprised if I see more empty seats in the theaters. The chemistry with Nikki Galrani does work but she needs to work on her acting skills as it seemed artificial at times. As for the rest of the cast, they have done a decent job be it the person who portrayed Narasimhan, Kailash, Saju Navodaya etc.
Verdict: Among the Vishu-Easter releases that has hit the screens in the past fortnight, it wouldnt be prudent to accept the fact that this is the weakest among the lot. Well Dileep has always proved his critics wrong as his movies have amassed collections that defied expectations, maybe it might happen again. However, I would rather suggest to check it out on TV & that too, only if you have time!!!