The King and The Commissioner

Movie : The King and The Commissioner
Director : Shaji Kailas
Cast : Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Sai Kumar

In the trademark Shaji Kailas-Renji Panicker style, the two heroes – Mammootty and Suresh Gopi’s unleash lengthy dialogues and expletives without batting an eyelid, right from the moment they appear in The King and The Commissioner.

After the dialogues, the guns takeover and even if they don�t have any weapons, they can beat any number of beefcakes into pulp with their fists alone. But then, what else do you expect from a film which is a rehash of the characters, Bharath Chandran IPS from Commissioner (1994) and Thevallipparambil Joseph Alex from The King (1995)? Of course, they could have added a genuine storyline and made it into an intelligent thriller, which sadly is not happening here.

Joseph Alex IAS (Mammootty), a high-ranking official is summoned by the Indian Prime Minister (Dr.Mohan Agashe), as per the recommendation of the union home minister GK (Janardhanan), to investigate into the murder of a few of the country�s intelligence experts. Sometime later, Bharath Chandran IPS (Suresh Gopi) too joins him as his deputy.

The kingpins behind the crimes are a high ranking Pakistani officer and the traitors of the nation who helps the terrorists – a swami named Chandramouliswara (Sai Kumar), the powerful bureaucrat Raman Madhav (Jayan Cherthala) and cop Shankar IPS (Devan).

Joseph Alex and Bharath Chandran dare to take on virtually anyone who comes in their way as they proceed with the investigation. The fiery dialogues that they used to yell all along in their earlier avatars which were electrifying for most Malayali viewers, reappears in improved forms and the dose is even stronger at times.

If you have the nature of keeping yourselves updated about the happenings around in real life, there are several mentions that can be interesting. Like the comment on the shortcuts employed by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev to gain cheap popularity, on Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab, for instance. There are obvious attempts to remind some of the instances and dialogues from the earlier films.

Such attempts reach ridiculous levels at times like KPAC Lalitha�s boring show, Sai Kumar�s mannerisms intended to give a feeling of Narendra Prasad�s superb show in Ekalavyan, Samvritha Sunil�s rather curious �admiration� for the hero and so on.

It is evident that the makers of this film are trying to cash in on the popularity of the two lead characters. Scenarist Renji Panicker and director Shaji Kailas have managed to do it at least in the film’s first half. But things go horribly wrong in the second half and as it is customary in most big scale Malayalam films, the heroes and villains settle scores inside a �go down� here as well.

Also there are too many unintentionally funny aspects like the strange coincidence where almost everyone involved here, at both sides of the country�s terrorist angle, being Malayalis. The rather lengthy speech that Mammootty makes to the Pak officer in Malayalam evokes laughter and most dialogues ends up as sheer jingoism!

Though there is no point in comparing the two, it is Mammootty who scores more, especially with the maximum presence on screen. Suresh Gopi looks a bit pale but he impresses with his superb dialogue delivery.

Sai Kumar and Jayan Cherthala have rather ordinarily written roles, which often make their actions and diatribes look silly. Dr. Mohan Agashe makes a brief but effective debut in Malayalam. The rest of the cast has done their roles in a fine way.

A better script, more believable characters, some real trimming and a modern style could have done wonders for The King and The Commissioner. But in the current form it succeeds in reminding about the earlier movies, though it is painfully long at more than three hours.

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