Movie - Karyasthan (Malayalam)
Director - Thomson
Producer - Neetha Anto
Cast - Dileep, Akhila, Madhu, Suraaj Venjarammoodu, Salimkumar, Siddique, Biju Menon, Ganesh, Suresh Krishna, Shammi Thilakan, Ramu, Sadique, Vandana, Santosh, Nishant Sagar
Music - Bernie Ignatious
Cinematography - P Sukumar
Editing - Mahesh Narayanan
Art - Salu K George
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Udayakrishna/Sibi K Thomas
Release Date - 5th November 2010
Malayalees have been criticizing and ridiculing Tamilians as 'Paandi's and their movies as Paandi Padam's since time immemmorial. But ever since the new millennium started, the big-budget mass-oriented Malayalam films have started looking more and more like Paandi Padams and Tamil films have grown to such a huge extent that they are able to produce the biggest blockbuster ever in the entire country. The audience there have almost completely discarded those routine mass-masala films and such films are flopping back to back there. And the movies which succeed there remind us of the glorious 80s of Malayalam Cinema. Karyasthan is yet another movie which looks like it is a bad Tamil masala movie from the 90s, with Malayalam actors speaking Malayalam dialogues.
The story is the regular - warring families, hero tries to bring peace between them, falls in love with the girl from the opposite family, and after several quarrels, stunts and sentimental scenes later, all's well that ends well. And of course, since it is an Udayakrishna-Sibi K Thomas movie, somebody has to be falsely accused in the flashback and he has to run away to Tamil Nadu, and then return to Kerala to make things all right. In this case, Siddique runs away to Tamil Nadu and sends his son Dileep as a Karyasthan to play peacemaker between the two warring families.
If these are the kind of entertainers which people want, then one cant help but feel very sorry about the sad state of affairs in the Malayalam film industry. Dileep is a wonderful, talented actor with an amazing sense of comic timing. This project was his 100th movie and he deserved much better. Instead of tapping on his potential of comedy, the writers project him as a mass hero who does stunts after every alternate scene and dances in duets wearing weird costumes and wigs. The actor looks completely uncomfortable doing all this nonsense and even the audience dont want to see him doing all this. It is a mystery why the makers still make their heroes do stuff like this. Each actor has his own USP, and that has to be tapped in movies, especially commercial masala entertainers. Here the humour department is given to the horrible Suraaj Venjarammoodu almost completely with Dileep pitching in very few light moments, which are few and far in between.
Touted to be on the lines of 'Kalyanaraman', one of the finest entertainers made in this decade, this movie falls flat since it depends on crude, crass and vulgar gags by the second rate comedian, rather than its talented hero. Dileep has nothing to do in the entire movie other than the mandatory song-dance-fight routine, which he is not very good at. But in some rare comic moments, he reminds us of his great comic timing. Salimkumar is the only saving grace as he is able to evoke some genuine laughs once in a while. Harishree Ashokan is well past his expiry date. It is tough to believe that the same man used to make us laugh like crazy not so long ago. Suraaj Venjarammoodu is named after the famous Tamil comedian Vadivelu who is known for slapstick and vulgar jokes. But Suraaj's gags in this movie make Vadivelu look like a saint. The heroine Akhila neither looks good or acts good. Madhu is decent but its sad to see such a great actor in a messy movie like this. It is a known fact that Siddique excels in every movie, however small his role may be. Biju Menon is wasted. Suresh Krishna and Shammi Thilakan come towards the end to get beaten up by the hero because the movie HAS to have some villains for the hero to beat up. Thesnikhan was good. Nishant Sagar comes back to movies after a long gap to do his regular job of getting beaten up inside a college. There is nothing worth mentioning about the other artists in the movie.
But the surprising fact is that the majority of the audiences were actually enjoying the movie and all the dirty humour that Suraaj forcibly feeds them. I will not be surprised if the movie turns out to be a superhit, because the standard of the regular Malayalam audience has hit rock bottom. The makers cant be blamed completely because they know that people will come and watch such films and turn them into hits, however bad they maybe. And to think that this is the same place where wonderful entertainers were made by people like Sathyan Anthikkadu, Sreenivasan, Priyadarshan, Kamal, Siddique-Lal, and others!! Sigh!!
The writers Udayakrishna and Sibi K Thomas have lifted their own movie Udayapuram Sulthan and packaged it in a new bottle, along with ingredients from various formulaic Tamil movies of the 90s. And the new packing ends up being stale rather than attractive. These writers along with Rafi-Mecartin should be held responsible for bringing this whole Pollachi genre into Malayalam movies. Initially, it paid off well in movies like Thenkashippattanam, which used the backdrop well, but the situation changed when it was converted into a success formula. Same stories, same settings, same twists and same gags get repeated with different heroes. The writers are capable of writing good entertainers like 20-20, CID Moosa, Runway and Lion, but then they choose the easy path of making formula films like these. Sad!!
The Bernie-Ignatious duo returns to composing music after a long gap and as a result, we get one great song called 'Malayalippenne' with some great visuals by cameraman P Sukumar. But the other songs range from mediocre to bad. The 'Krishna' song in the college is a disaster. The Om Shanti Om inspired marriage song, passes muster. One wishes Dileep had thought the same kind of visualization for a song during the making of 20-20, instead of calling all the serial artistes. There is an introduction song shortly after Dileep is introduced in the same way as Superstar Rajnikanth in the iconic 'Oruvan Oruvan Muthalali' song in Muthu. And then the song also shows him dancing alongside Rajnikanth for a song from Yejamaan. P Sukumar's cinematography brings some life into the movie, but then, it is all destroyed due to the gawdy costumes worn by all the actors in the movie.
The movie has taken a bumper opening thanks to the Diwali weekend and Dileep's popularity among the family audience. But for people who are tired of these routine formula flicks with cheap humour, Karyasthan is a pain to sit through. It gets slightly better in the second half and one good touch is the 'Anuraga Vilochananayi' romance between Suraaj & Thesnikhan (which is again lifted from many Vadivelu films). There are high chances of the movie turning into a hit, but if such movies keep becoming hits, all the fimmakers would keep giving such bad formula products instead of even thinking of making some sort of a change in the story or treatment. We used to laugh at Tamilians and their choice of entertainers. Now, its their turn to laugh at us.
Rating - 2/5