Film: 'Alibhai'; Cast: Mohanlal, Gopika, Navya Nair and Innocent; Director: Shaji Kailas; Music: Alex Paul; Producer: Antony Parambavoor
When a star does a film just to please his fans, he often ends up disappointing everyone else in the audience. This is what happens to Mohanlal's latest film 'Alibhai', an Onam offering for his fans.
The film is directed by Shaji Kailas, who is partly responsible for giving the actor his larger-than-life image. But in the earlier days, Shaji had the able support of scriptwriter Ranjith who has now turned to direction himself.
After Ranjith's departure, Shaji was forced to try various other writers but he could never repeat the same magic. The problem with the other scriptwriters is that they use the same mould as Ranjith but without being innovative or creative.
'Alibhai' is Shaji's second film with scriptwriter T.A. Shahid. They first teamed up for 'Natturajavu', in which Shahid blindly copied Ranjith's style and the Mohanlal starrer bit the dust.
When he got the chance to write 'Alibhai' one hoped he would try something different but the film has come as a disappointment.
The movie is about a staunch father who alienates his son because of some misunderstanding created by his rivals. The son grows up to be a good-hearted toughie.
He helps the needy, takes on a group of baddies and is capable enough to crush them all alone. He also shakes a leg with hundreds of group dancers and takes on the establishment too when it turns against his people.
'Alibhai' is set in Kozhikode's Palayam market and our hero is called Anwar Ali. The course of the story is as predictable as the journey of the sun from the east to the west.
The credit for this kind of a theme should go to director Bhadran, who used this ploy in his film 'Spadikam'. Ranjith had carried it forward and Shahid now makes a futile attempt to repeat the same magic by imitating him.
So what are the special antics of Mohanlal in this film?
Well, he talks in a Kozhikode accent, straightens a strand of hair falling on his forehead with his left hand, and meticulously folds up his lungi before beating up the baddies black and blue.
'Alibhai' is worth watching in the theatre only if one is a diehard Mohanlal fan.