The first thing that comes to your mind while watching director Abhay Simha’s Kannada-Malayalam bilingual Shikkaari is that it has a promising pattern, which could have looked fine, if it was made well. But no such luck here and the film ends up as a painful experience.
Abhilash (Mammootty) is a ‘young’, unmarried software engineer. One day he happens to listen to a manuscript of a novel titled ‘Shikkaari’, taken from a library by his friend. It was set in that period when India was still ruled by the British.
As per the story, in a place called Manjinadukka, a wealthy landlord named Rudranath Shenoy, seeks the help of a British warrior named Sir Andrew, to kill a menacing tiger that often attacked the hapless villagers.
Soon after, a brave revolutionary named Karunan (Mammootty, in his second role) comes to the village to attack the British, as part of the freedom movement. Karunan soon becomes the darling of the villagers and Shenoy’s daughter Renuka (Poonam Bajwa) falls in love with him, almost instantly.
Totally fascinated by the story, Abhilash goes to the village to find the missing portions of the manuscript or to meet any of the characters from the story who are still alive. He meets the writer’s daughter Nandita (Poonam Bajwa, again) and starts living in her house, as there are no hotels around.
Okay, you would have guessed by now what happens next. The two starts having a liking for each other. A fantasy like tale gets intertwined with a rather ordinary plot and things are being presented in a more serious way than it deserves.
Abhay Simha, who won a national award for his debut movie ‘Gubbachchigalu’, comes up with a rather amateurish looking experiment this time. With a flimsy script and ordinary execution, this one ends up as a big disappointment.
The only surprise from Mammootty here is his decision to be part of this film, which could easily find a place amongst his forgettable movie-list. Poonam Bajwa does not make much of an impression. Innocent, Tini Tom and Suresh Krishna have perhaps been added to have a Kerala flavor. The trio have nothing much to do, but Innocent’s accent is just irritating even in this brief appearance.
It’s fine for superstars to look beyond their home turf and make their presence felt in other languages. But Shikkaari won’t do any good for an actor of Mammootty’s stature. Catch any of his gems from the past instead of wasting time on this one.