Banner: Sagar Balaji Creations
Cast: Dileep, Meera Nandan, Reena Bashir, Sruthi Menon, Biju Menon, Innocent, Mala Aravindan, Salimkumar, Sukumari, Anoop Chandran, Bineesh Kodiyery, Rizabava, Ashok, Suja
Direction: Lal Jose
Production: Sagar Sherif
Mulla, the best of his recent releases, a Lal Jose-Dileep tie-up, has done the trick for Dileep, bringing the crowds thronging into theatres. But is it really that good? Read on.
Mulla is a team effort, though touted as a Lal-Jose film. Dileep gives a credible performance as Mulla, a goonda from a slum area near a railway track. The inhabitants have a fixed modus operandi; three goondas go together for contract killings and other nefarious activities. If one gets killed, another takes his place and completes the job, but no shanty-dweller ever goes to claim the dead body, so the police never set foot inside this locality.
Mulla is being groomed to be Ambi Annan’s (Biju Menon) successor; the petty assignments are Mulla’s responsibility. Ambi’s wife (Reema Basheer), known as Akka, is a paragon of virtue. The shanty dwellers travel by train, as the tracks pass near the colony; they pull the emergency chain when a train nears the shanty, turning it into an unauthorized stop.
Mulla’s mother had settled in the shanty long ago and was called Mulla because of the jasmine she wore in her hair; the hero too is named after his mother. The twist occurs when Mulla hands over an abandoned child to Lachchi (Meera Nandan). The two are drawn to the child, leading to mutual attraction and Mulla’s transformation.
Dileep‘s performance is good, but his character doesn’t speak much – a drawback. It’s through dialogue delivery along with his histrionics, that Dileep had attracted his audiences in the past. Meera Nandan too has done a good job in Lachchi’s role. Biju Menon, Salim Kumar, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Mala Aravindan, Suraaj Venjaramoodu have given good performances. Bhavana’s brief comic role is animated. Still, there is little mass appeal and a fast tempo is lacking.
Vipin Mohan has captured the essence of the movie with his excellent cinematography. With its screenplay and dialogues, good performances, well-defined characters, and beautiful songs with interesting visualization, Mulla could be a hit. It is better than Lal’s Pattalam and Rasikan. However, Mulla dims in comparision to Lal Jose’s best films like Arabikatha, Achanurangaatha Veedu and Classmates. When compared to most of Dileep‘s recent films, it’s good. The film’s box-office fortunes depend greatly on the other films that will be released this season. Mulla may rake in the moolah only if the next crop of films fail to bring good competitors to the box-office.