For this Christmas, once again you have a movie plotted at a remote Tamil Nadu border, with all that colorful camera friendly costume worn dumb village people, two strong families at war for more than two decades, the entry of the hero to settle the war with some mysterious personal interests, the loud mouthed villain with that big moustache and another hundreds of regular features that you come across in almost all the hits of decade. Yes, this is an overall idea of ‘Chattambinaadu’- the new Mammootty movie in theatres, strictly made on the formula stuff with that very old wine story in another new bottle. What really makes a difference is the megastar adorning another sharply different look and slang for his protagonist character, who amuse, confuse and impress the viewers with dialogues that are more Kannada than Malayalam.
The village in the centre of activity is Chembattunadu, which gradually was rechristened as Chattambinaadu following the arrival and settlement of chattambis (goons) to the village to sort out the fight between the two strong wealthy families of the village, that is continuing for more than two decades. The movie opens in a high with the story being narrated in the viewpoint of a shooting crew of popular programme ‘Veritta Kazhchakal’. The goons of the wealthy families Mallanchira and Kattapalli have controlled the village for decades. Veerendra Mallaya, a Kannadiga wealthy man and a daredevil with 31 criminal cases after him, speaking a Malayalam with a thick Kananda slang arrives to the village to buy a mansion owned by Mallachira Chandramohan (Manoj K Jayan). From the day one he starts his war against Kattapilli Nagendran (Siddhique) and the viewers are told that Mallaya has a mysterious past associated with the same village folk, that has forced him to come to the village. Amidst confusions, the mysteries unveil with enjoyable sidetracks by local chattambies, Makri Goplan and Dasamoolam Damu played by Salimkumar and Suraj respectively.
In a potpourri of recent hits from Rajamanickayam, to Madambi and Mayavi, the racy narratives and fast cuts has managed to hold the movie without any big harm atleast till interval. But the final hour becomes increasingly predictable, with not much fresh surprises in store. But it is the one-man show of Mammootty, the megastar who really shows how he can hold a movie with a regular lame storyline with his charismatic performances. Even with a regular singular white pajama- kurtha dress code, he is eminently handsome throughout, with his acting credentials once again coming to the fore. Watch out for the two sentimental scenes where he manages to impress everyone, even with heavy Kannada dialogues. Vinu Mohan as his trusted aide Murugan, is in another role that the youngster can treasure. Lakshmi Rai and Mythili manages through the characters they are in while others from Vijayaraghavan, Manoj K Jayan, Siddhique, Janardhanan and Co are all in their regular roles.
The technical side of the movie is good, with every department doing their best to maintain the quality of a potential hit. Manoj Pillai’s camera, and V Sajan’s editing are brilliant and the makers has managed to keep the interest going for the entire length of two hours and five minutes. Alex Paul’ songs have good beats but won’t stay in our minds for long. The title song written by Murugan Kattakkada and sung by C J Kuttappan is the best among the three featured in the movie.
If you are a fan of Mammootty, you are sure to lap up Chattambinaadu, as it offers everything for the fans to cherish. And for others, if you had been with the likes of cross- border movies; this is another chance for reminiscence. If you can keep your brains at home, don’t think for much logic and enjoy a free run for two hours.