Banner: Pankaj Productions
Cast: Mammotty, Sneha, Arjun, Mamta Mohandas, Malavika
Direction: T. Aravinda Raj
Finally it’s out after a long wait. Been in the making for over a couple of years, ‘Vande Matharam’ brings together Malayalam superstar Mammootty and Arjun who go hammer and tongs to nail a terrorist who intrudes in south India.
Director of the film Aravindan has opted to go the mass way coming out with scenes that one would usually associate in a Shankar, Vijayakanth and Arjun film in the past.
What is creditable is the homework that Aravindan has done to get the detailing right. He has tried to convey too many things at one time- terrorism, poor plight of farmers and the need to interlink rivers. These things go preachy at times.
At the same time, the director has adopted a unique style in narrating the story. Mammootty and Arjun hog equal screen space and sizzle in their respective roles. The star cast includes Sneha, Nasser, Jagadhi, Rajan P Dev, Riyaz Khan and new comer Deepak Jethi.
The movie begins in Chennai when south head of Indian intelligence department Gopi Krishnan (Mammootty) is entrusted with the task to apprehend Malik (Deepak Jethi), a dreaded Pakistani terrorist who has entered south India.
He takes the help of couple of police officers Anwar Hussain (Arjun) and Ashok (Jai Akash). They stumble upon a mysterious murder in Kanyakumari. They begin their investigations. Slowly they catch hold of vital clues and finally take Malik in their custody.
Now they try to get the words from his mouth. Interrogations begin to ascertain his true identity. Gopi hatches a plan and uses his wife Nandhini (Sneha) for the mission. But fate has different plans.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister (Nasser), saddened at the plight of farmers, decides to launch a grand canal project (interlinking of rivers) in Kanyakumari. Now the ultras plan to foil the event by planting bombs. The onus is on two men (Gopi and Anwar) to end all menace.
It’s been a vintage Mammootty all through. As IB chief, he is there delivering his best in a cool and casual manner. He lends dignity to the role. Arjun does what is expected of him. He plays his part well. He flexes his muscles and minces punch lines too. But the khaakhi clad Arjun reminds us of his earlier movies in many places.
Sneha comes briefly in the movie. She appears in a song and sacrifices her life half way through. Jai Akash and Jagadish fit the role as cops. Jaya Prakash and Riyaz Khan play cameo. Newcomer Deepak Jethi is menacing as baddie. He is there playing his part extremely well. But at many places he reminds one of such villains seen in many Vijayakanth’s movies before.
Music is by D Imman and there are very less songs in the movie but the background score is peppy and brisk. Rajesh Yadav and Panneer Selvam have ensured that all is caught well on camera. Dialogues by R N R Manohar at places evoke curiosity and interest. But the rest sounds too preachy. Produced by Henry, ‘Vande Matharam’ is high on hopes, but delivers little.