‘Aandavan’is a regular Kalabhavan Mani affair -yet another take which glorify one-man vigilant justice. And as usual with his films, this too remains unsurprising and predictable to the core. In an obvious attempt at making a formulaic masala movie, the creators come up with another that turns out far from satisfactory.
The movie has Mani as Murugan, who is more popular as ‘Aandavan’, a demi god in his slum, a savior robin hood who steals money from the rich to help the poor. The peculiarity with him is that he is a specialist who repeatedly steals from only one man-Parameshwara Panikkar, his sworn enemy, the local tycoon and moneylender who is there into every unlawful business, from illicit liquor to massage centers. Panikkar had destroyed Murugan’s family, years ago, getting him and his father arrested and assaulted on false claims. Panikkar’s own son Sadasivan, who is now the Circle Inspector of Police couldn’t resist the brainy protagonist thief from continuing with his follies in his father’s house. Murugan, who is also a childhood enemy of Sadasivan, execute the most daring and ingenuous of heists, looting the big share of money that Panikkar earns through his unlawful means. Murugan is even more particular to leave any money left after his charity activities, into the local police station, without revealing himself. The new female Sub-Inspector, Sreelekha (Sindhu Menon) who is put into the charge of the related investigations takes up residence on the ground floor of house in which Murugan hides on nights. On recognizing Sreerekha’s paralized father, Murugan realizes Sreerekha as one of his childhood playmates. Unaware of this friend in the attic, Sreerekha hatches plans to grab Murugan. Meanwhile Sreerekha has to confront with Sadasivan who helps his father in his shady activities, which ultimately results in Sreerekha getting suspended from service. But, by now she has fallen for her childhood friend, realising the facts that made him a thief. Murugan has now got a lot of things to accomplish. To take on his final revenge against Panikkar and his sons and to reinstate Sreerekha into the service. How he accomplish this forms the rest of the plot. The biggest drawback of the film is that it is highly predictable. It ends up in a much contrived climax. The last reels of the film looks like a product made in a hurry, with little attention to details, logic or story continuity. K Gireeshkumar in the scripts has reworked a story that seems to be as old as the Stone Age, failing to give anything unique to the story lines, that the audience can take back. Kalabhavan Mani as Murugan has nothing more to do than be in his usual self. Sindhu Menon is passable as Sreerekha, while Jagathy Sreekumar as Parameswara Panicker and Anand as Sadasivan are in their regular outings. Bijukuttan as the small-time ganja dealer Bhaskaran and Salim Kumar as the iron-man Mayankutty bring in some chuckles. Seema G. Nair is remarkable as the local streetwalker Sarasu. In the technical side, everything is in tune with the theme. M Bawa in art direction has done an exceptional job in creating the slums, look natural. Vipin Mohan has opted for not much experimentation while Renjan Abraham in editing also is ordinary, employing innumerable white flashes..The action sequences are well-orchestrated and act as a catalyst to hold on the narratives. The songs by Alex Paul are hummable of which, “Poonnila punchiri thookum…” rendered by Vineeth Sreenivasan has the potential to enter the charts. There is also the mandatory Mani song, which is also crisply visualized with good choreography, thankfully without an item girl. Altogether the movie may not impress you, even if you are a die hard Mani fan. And for the rest, it is a sinking affair to be with this short flick which completes its run through in around one hour and fifty minutes. In an industry that appears to be in sinking state, there is really no apparent reason behind films like ‘Aandavan’ that have been hitting the screens every now and then, without any thing new to offer. The industry can very well surely do better, without them. Cast: Kalabhavan Mani, Sindhu Menon,Jagathy, Anand, Boban Alummoodan, Salim Kumar, Machan Varghese, Narayanankutty, Subair Direction: Akbar Jose Production: Cinema Company Music: Alex Paul