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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shankaranum Mohanum - Movie Review

Art house director T V Chandran has made many movies that have defined the watching styles of so many  in Mollywood, to the extent that the has already found his undeniable place in the all-time hall of fame of Malayalam filmmakers. His latest 'Sankaranum Mohananum' was advertised as a movie that will be the first commercial attempt by the director in Mollywood. But after watching the movie, what we feel is that the director has tried a little bit more, in his attempts to make the flick appealing to regular film goers, but in the process lost much of his strengths as a meaningful film maker .

'Sankaranum Mohananum' has a very interesting premise about the undying love of a 'dead' soul towards his wife.  Jayasuriya is cast in a double role as brothers, Sankaran and Mohanakrishnan,who has more than  a ten years difference in age. Mohanakrishnan is  a fashion photographer currently living in Kochi. Though immensely successful in his profession, he had just relocated from Mumbai following his separation from his wife , Jyotsna Mathew (played by Rima Kallingal) and his only child, Ammu.

Sankaran, Mohanakrishnan's elder brother, a school teacher in Malabar in his 50's, suddenly decides to marry his colleague's young daughter Rajalekshmy , in order to help his colleague  who is hit by a stroke and is bedridden. As he sees Rajalakshmi, he immediately falls in love with her. But fate has its say as he is bitten by a snake on the very first day after his wedding. Though Sankaran dies, he  refuses to leave the world and appears before Mohanakrishnan in various pretences, pleading with him to talk to his wife and inform her that he is still around.

Mohanakrishnan is scared at first but slowly reallies the situation and tries to do all as per his brother's wishes.But as another person Sahadevan(Sudheesh) has now come up to marry the widowed Rajalekshmy, Sankaran's soul is asking Mohanankrishnan to somehow evade the marriage. The movie goes on to tell how  the 'undead' brother changes the life of  Mohanakrishnan, who is left in the tussle between the demands of the living and the dead..

T V Chandran has gone for a surreal story with a  complex mind game in this satire, which but remains a mediocre fare in reaching cinematic brilliance.There are only a few impressions that leave a powerful impact in the viewer's minds, including the desperate attempts of the departed soul to show himself and his heart out;But it rarely touches that height in its characterisations.The scripts and dialogue don't reach up to the standards of regular T V Chandran movies though there are many sequences and flourishes  of directorial brilliance, sprinkled all over, that includes the flashbacks, the marriage scenes told with stills and the well executed climax.Though many sequences are good, there appears a lack of cohesiveness in the entire scripts, especially in the later half. And when compared with the commercial standards, the movie is tad slow and may not appeal to the regulars in the  Box Office.

The movie offer Jayasuriya, a rather difficult role which needed him to change the shoes of both the characters, the real Mohanakrishnan and the apparition of his brother,at regular intervals. The actor has lived up to the challenge of playing these contrasting roles, with needed impact. In fact, more than sixty percent of the movie just feature the two in dialogues.Apart from his character, the others in the screen have minimal impact.Suraj and Reema are in  undemanding roles, might have been included mostly due to commercial pressures.  Meera Nandhan just manages to be in the demands of the character, and also in the screen space are Jagathy, Sudheesh, Kalpana and Manikantan. 

In the technical side, Pradeep nair's camera is topnotch with some brilliant visuals,and venugopal's editing is also ok .Issac Thomas Kottukappaly, the year's National award winner has also created some engaging BG scores sound design.The double-role techniques are reasonably well and good in the initial reels, but in the late half, the execution of some sequences needed much more perfection.

All in all, 'Sankaranum Mohananum' remains a movie for TV Chandran completits-people who like to watch everyone from the master director.In the BO, the movie is sure, not to hold on for more than two weeks.

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