Thursday, April 8


Movie - Janakan (Malayalam)
Director - Sanjeev NR
Producer - Arun MC, A Shan
Cast - Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Biju Menon, Harishree Ashokan, Vijayaraghavan, Kaveri, Rajith Menon, Jyothirmayi
Cinematography - Sanjeev Sankar
Music - M Jayachandran
Editing - G Murali
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - SN Swami
Release Date - 8th April 2010

Janakan was a movie which was made during the latter half of 2009 and was a planned as a December-January release. But it was purposefully delayed because the storyline of the movie was very similar to a movie released during November, called Vairam. The movie has released now and one cannot help but agree to the fact that the storylines of both these movies are pretty much the same. A small family consisting of a loving father and mother and their only daughter undergo a tragedy when the girl goes missing. The father loves the girl more than anything else and his life is torn apart when he learns that his daughter has been brutally raped, and later, murdered. He doesnt get the justice he needs and decides to take the law in his hands and kills the people responsible for the brutal fate of his daughter. And then, approaches a brilliant advocate who promises to save him out of the mess because he understands the father's emotion. This is the basic storyling of both Vairam and Janakan and the narrative style is also more or less similar. What is surprising is that both Suresh Gopi and the cinematographer Sanjeev Sankar were very much part of Vairam as well. And it is surprising that they didnt notice any similarity between the 2 films even then. If it was Pasupathy who played the distraught father in Vairam, Suresh Gopi plays that part here. If it was the same Suresh Gopi who played the role of the brilliant lawyer in Vairam, it is handed over to a much bigger superstar Mohanlal over here.

Mohanlal comes in an extended special appearance in the film. He is just there in 6 or 7 scenes but thanks to the screenplay, it looks as if he's there throughout the movie. If the movie provides any kind of entertainment, it is during the few scenes that feature him. There is nothing challenging in a role like this for a great actor like him, and he does whatever he is required to do in that short role, but still makes an impact. It was a delight to hear him speaking in 'Thrisshur bhaasha' out of the blue, in the movie after a long time. Suresh Gopi also has precious little to do. He just keeps crying in most of the scenes and thats it. But he does not go overboard at any point and his performance remains very understated thankfully. He was very good in a scene where he cannot control an outburst at the minister. Biju Menon is okay in another role which doesnt demand anything. Jyothirmayi, Kaveri, Harishree Ashokan, etc. are just there. Vijayaraghavan shined as the Police Commissioner. 2 of the villains were quite funny looking and the other one, scary looking. The new girl who played Suresh Gopi's daughter was just passable. Thankfully, there were no additional humour or romantic tracks in the movie.

SN Swami who wrote one of last year's worst movies, Rahasya Police does a decent job as a writer in this movie. He does not resort to his cheap trick of introducing someone totally irrelevant to the story as villain in the end, in the name of suspense this time around. Instead, he uses the sharp mind of Mohanlal's character to give a conclusion to the story. There were some good dialogues written keeping Mohanlal in mind. The director really has to go a long long way. His treatment makes the movie look dated, giving the feel of a 90s movie at many places. Also, when the same story was made earlier in the same language, the director should make some difference in his treatment while making the second film. But I feel Vairam was directed much better than this movie and the way the story was narrated was much better in Vairam. The director got the dates of 2 great actors like Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi and could not use them to their full potential, I would say.

The movie has one below average song by M Jayachandran and a decent background score by Rajamani. Cinematography by Sanjeev Sankar was just okay. There were many out of focus shots in the movie. I dont know if it was an error from the movie technicians or a problem in the projection at the theatre. There's nothing noteworthy to be mentioned about the other technical departments.

The good thing about the movie is that it doesnt torture you like many of the other recent releases. It maintains an interest level in the viewer till the end and I dont think there's any howl-worthy scene in the movie, which is a very good thing in these days. It wouldnt be truthful to say that the movie has a good message. Taking the law in your hands is definitely not a good thing. But the movie can be called as a portrayal of the plights the father of a girl child has to go through in these days. All in all, the movie says the same story as Vairam, has an added appeal of Mohanlal, but remains just average because of the mediocre direction.

Rating - 2.75/5

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