Director Rosshan Andrrews’ Casanovva, the modern version of the legendary lady charmer, has been claimed by its makers as the costliest Malayalam film ever. Well, even if we are ready to buy that, the absence of a genuine storyline looms large and the film barely lives up to the hype and hoopla surrounding it.
The story is happening in Dubai where Casanova (Mohanlal), an international flower trader comes occasionally to woo girls. He is rich, flamboyant and is a well known playboy. During one of his visits, he comes across a gang of four (Abhishek, Shamsi, Arjun and Vikram) who have been involved in a heist. The Interpol was on the lookout for the boys as well, but Casanova has a score of his own to settle with them. He uses a rich girl named Hanna (Lakshmi Rai) and Ann Mary (Roma) to target two of the gang members.
Things look pretty fine until then but it all start going haywire from then on. Casanova starts hosting a TV show and his wily tricks create some rift between the gang members. Casanova was once in love with a salsa dancer named Sameera (Shriya Saran) and that as he reveals later, was his only true romance.
The filmmakers in Malayalam are always seen complaining about the limited budget in which they have to make films that should attract the rather demanding viewers. But the question is, are they really using the money judiciously? As it always happens, the opulence in films is to be seen as choppers, plush cars, girls in skimpy outfits, exotic locales and a battalion of extra artistes are lined up just to make the frames rich. The example, of course is Casanovva.
In all fairness, Rosshan Andrrews has tried his best to package the film as a visual spectacle. But with a weak premise, which begins at a certain point and meanders along aimlessly before reaching the destination in a boring way, there is nothing much that he can do about it. The script by Bobby and Sanjay gets shaky at times. The visuals by Jim Ganesh are mostly superb and the music by Alphonse, Gopi Sundar and Gowri is fine in parts.
Mohanlal has approached the role with great sincerity but this is one character which is barely challenging enough for the genius. This is actually a role which is probably meant for a younger actor and the basic concept of a magnet that can attract any woman, is mostly limited to certain sermons on romance and finds less relevance after a while, as too many sub plots mars the narration.
The rest of the cast has nothing much to do. Riyas Khan, as the Interpol officer is being shown as a brilliant cop but he isn’t going after even the basic clues that would lead to the culprits. There are some fine scenes that lead to the romance between Casanova and Sameera, the character played by Shriya Saran, but the two shows almost zero chemistry on screen. Lakshmi Rai and Roma and Sanjana have rather inconsequential roles.
Casanovva perhaps has some nice moments but you would need real patience to spot them. There are all the expensive things at display, but the criminals or the cops barely have a gun or any weapon when they really need it. And as if it is customary in most Malayalam films, in the climax, the hero has to chase the baddies to a go down where they fight until the hero wins hands down. And not to forget, a hundred cops reach the spot exactly five seconds after the hero proves his eminence!
Some things never change, even it has been made on shoestring budgets or at an exorbitant cost. This Casanovva lacks the charm but let’s hope that the gimmicks like the extra ‘v’ in its title will help in recovering the investments!