Superstar Mohanlal is today commended as the best natural actor around by his peers and critics and applauded by everyone for his magnetic persona.
Veteran director Joshi and young writer T.A. Shahid have tried to cash in on these traits of Mohanlal in “Maambazhakaalam”(Mango Season), but with limited success as Mohanlal the superstar seems to overpower the actor in this film.
So, what we have got here is a concoction that can be termed as the “best of Mohanlal” (including his acting opposite Sobhana, as they have been the most remembered pair of recent times). The story is similar to Mohanlal’s “Baletten”, the debut of writer Shahid, which became a hit last year.
The story is about Puramanayil Chandran (Mohanlal), a forty-plus man with a heart of gold, who has made it big by working in the Middle East and brought up his five siblings single-handed. He sacrificed his personal life for his family. The tale unfolds as his family decides to get him married, which he has been avoiding for years.
The film follows the pattern of a typical Mohanlal fare – a light-hearted comedy turning into tension-filled drama with action sequences in the second half.
The writer has tried to infuse some topical issues, like the difficulties faced by Malayalis working in Gulf countries, but he has failed to bring any freshness to the plot, as every twist and turn in it is predictable.
It goes to the credit of the actors that they keep our interest alive in the film, with Mohanlal leading the way. He tries to fill enthusiasm in the proceedings, hiding shortcomings in the screenplay. He is ably supported by Harisree Asokan, Sudhish and Innocent.
Talented Sobhana has been given a raw deal. Her character in the film has nothing substantial to it. Her presence is used as an additional USP. Kaviyoor Ponnamma is the typical mother you expect her to be.
M. Jayachandran’s music and Gireesh Puthenchery’s lyrics are not outstanding.
Director Joshi, with a reputation for making political and action thrillers, has switched gears by making two back-to-back family dramas: first Dileep’s “Runway” and now “Maambazhakaalam”.
As for writer Shahid, this is his third film with Mohanlal after “Baletten” and “Natturajavu”. Both films did good business at the box office.
By the looks of it, “Maambazhakaalam” will reap a good harvest at the box office.