Friday, February 5, 2016

മഹേഷിന്റെ പ്രതികാരം (Maheshinte Prathikaram) (2016)

Director: Dileesh Pothan
Writer:    Shyam Pushkaran
Cast:         Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir, Anushree, Alancier Lay, Aparna Balamurali
Language: Malayalam

Mahesh is a small level studio photographer in Prakash, Idukki. He is not having a good time with his lover deciding to ditch him for an arranged marriage with a guy who is settled abroad. On top of that he gets into a random fight in his town's street with a random guy during which he is thoroughly beaten. Feeling completely emasculated, he vows that he won't wear a chappal/slippers/shoes till he gets his revenge on that guy... To make matters worse, his nemesis gets a job in Gulf and Mahesh has to wait to get his revenge for which he doesn't look capable anyway.

The opening credits is set to a song which is like an ode to Idukki and you worry that it will be another one of those films which preaches the goodness of rural life. Thankfully it doesn't do that and it is not a serious film like the title would suggest either (The title translates as Mahesh's Revenge). It is a comedy film based on a true story, apparently, and while that when said as  an anecdote or when written as a synopsis might seen interesting enough, they have fleshed it out enough to make a very good film out of it and do full justice to it. It is an amazing directorial debut for Dileesh Pothan who used to be one of Aashique Abu's assistants.

The guy who played the role of distributor to great effect in 'Monsoon Mangoes' again stars with Fahadh in this film in a role which can be classed as that of a sidekick. Mahesh calls him uncle but that doesn't mean they are related going by the Kerala norms. The central event in the film happens after a random set of things happening and they are done with great comic timing. But you do worry that it is going into the skit format of comedy which is vogue in Malayalam cinema these days. Not to worry, they are done with a purpose and is indeed central to it. The guy who plays PT sir (Soubin Shahir) in Premam also stars in the film and times his dialogs very well. I found his performance in Charlie to be a bit disappointing but he is great in this one. Girls with pimples are also in vogue these days and the second love interest for Mahesh is one of that variety played by an actor (Aparna Balamurali) who is presumably making her debut. She does her part very well in a role, if not done well, could have easily derailed the whole film. There are in fact plenty of actors making their debuts in this film and most of them are absolutely great.

Overall the film is a great watch and it has got blockbuster written all over it. At two hours, it is indeed cut to the correct length and you actually get the feeling that they were padding it with some songs to stretch it out. Most of the songs move the story forward anyway and so it doesn't matter. It doesn't get sentimental at any point of time and the ending kind of reminded me of Neram. Some might find it a bit anti-climactic or abrupt but i thought it was perfect. Fahadh is badly in need of a significant hit and this one looks like a sure bet.

PS: There is an element of that god-awful film 'Natturajavu' in this one in terms of a story thread.

Rating: 5/5