Movie – Shikkar
Cast – Mohanlal, Kailash, Thalaivasal Vijay, Ananya, Maithili, Sneha, Kalabhavan Mani, Lalu Alex
Script – S Sureshbabu
Director – M Padmakumar
Music Director – M Jayachandran
Producer – K K Rajagopal
Finally, here is something to cheer about for Malayalam cinema. Mohanlal has made a fantastic comeback of sorts with director M Padmakumar’s Shikar. It showcases the actor in a brilliant way, as a lorry driver with a nagging past.This film is far from being perfect especially in its first half, but it has been packaged quite well. With some superb performances, brilliant visuals, reasonably engaging script and nice music, it takes you to an altogether different world and that too in a convincing manner.
Balaraman (Mohanlal) is a lorry driver, who has come to the forest area called Chittazha, where bamboo is cut during a particular season. He has a tragic past which continues to haunt him. He has pinned all his hopes on his foster-daughter, Ganga (Ananya), who is set to join a medical course. But his fears come true and certain dramatic happenings make his life miserable.
Looking back it is evident that there are not many surprises in store here, as Padmakumar narrates a simple and a highly predictable story. This is felt mainly in the first half, where the story roams around aimlessly for a while, with some cooked up comic situations and fight sequences that don’t have much relevance thereafter. But things get more disciplined during the second half and that helps greatly in making a positive impact.
M Padmakumar has handled the storyline with a certain maturity and crafted it at an entertaining pace. S Suresh Babu’s script has quite a few shortcomings for sure, but even then it has its strong moments. Manoj Pillai’s camera and Ranjan Abraham’s editing needs special mention. M Jayachandran’s music is fine, but the problem is that the songs often stand out from the narrative.
Shikar belongs to Mohanlal, who underlines his legendary stature as an actor with a stunning performance. In a flawless display of his abundant talents, the actor has put his heart and soul into this character. His dialogue delivery, which has always been one of his main strengths, adds to the effect. For all his fans, this could be the one movie you were all waiting for!
Watch out for some spectacular performances, especially from Samuthirakani (the director of the Tamil hit Nadodigal, who has acted in Subramaniapuram) in a rather small but brilliant role as a Naxalite leader. The rest of the cast Lalu Alex, Kalabhavan Mani, Sneha, Thalaivasal Vijay, Jagathy Sreekumar and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy looked fine as well, but some of their characters are half-baked. Suraj Venjarammood, for instance, is there for a few scenes with his routine tricks that look pretty jaded by now.
With a slick presentation, it turns out to be a genuinely engrossing movie. Things could have been better for sure, but even in the current form, the film succeeds in keeping the viewer glued to the screen quite remarkably. Go for it!
Verdict: Very Good
Rating : 4/5