Friday, March 31, 2017

The Great Father (2017)

Director: Haneef Adeni
Writer: Haneef Adeni
DOP: Roby Varghese
Cast: Mammooty, Arya, Baby Anikha, Sneha
Language: Malayalam

David Ninan (Mammooty) is the great father, to his daughter Sarah whose hero worship of him makes you think whether the makers were intentionally going for a pretty potent Electra Complex in the initial part of the film. She tells tales to her schoolmates about David's supposed exploits in Bombay where he locked horns with the underworld. He is now a builder in Kerala and they are a rich posh family with the doctor mother being the other member. But the great father fails to protect his daughter when she meets with a harrowing experience in his absence. What follows is the father having to live up to the built-up reputation by bringing the culprit to meet a father's justice even as an acrimonious Andrews Eapen (Arya) is leading the investigation from the side of cops.

The film takes a while to get going and it is after the incident that happens to David's daughter that things start getting interesting. There is a lot of foreplay in the first half before David unleashes his black beast vehicle just before the interval point. This is good because it puts stop to most of the cheap potshots aimed at Mohanlal that was placed in the beginning of the film to draw some cheap applause. Second half of the film involves David leading a parallel investigation and he is ahead of Andrews most of the times. Plenty of stylish scenes are thrown in, where Mammooty is at his best, but the last stunt in the film is quite comically bad. Director had avoided having Mammooty do lot of stunts by keeping most of it off-camera with us being shown only the consequences. They would've been better off if he had defeated the peadophile serial killer using his brains rather than through a very laborious action sequence. Most of the action sequences in the film are quite poorly done including the car crash sequence at the beginning. Where it scores is with its stylishness, BGMs and the tender moments in first half of the film. There is one jump-scare moment which won't look out of place in a horror film.

Arya as Andrews Eapen is surprisingly good and the kickass BGM that accompanies him aids it in considerable measure. The film is produced by August Cinemas and the trademark yellow and white van makes another appearance after Double Barrel and Darwinte Parinamam. The film has a good chance of making it big in the box office as peadophilia related harassments are a hot topic in Kerala these days and the producers have cleverly positioned it as a family film as well. The film has even one character arguing the other side about peadophilia which is again a recent hot debate topic. Comedian Louis CK did it best with his bit in SNL and it is the best argument for looking at the problem with a little more open mind rather than shutting down the debate entirely.

Overall the film is a good watch with underwhelming beginning and end. Those who expect an overload of 'cool' scenes tailor made for fans might get disappointed and as will people who expect an intelligent thriller. You will be satisfied if you are expecting a mix of both. In that sense it is quite similar to Oppam but since it was marketed as a clever thriller, I was disappointed with that film. Great Father's marketing as a mix of many things will aid it as it manages the expectations.

Rating: 3/5