Director: Arun Vaidyanathan
Cast: Mohanlal, Mukesh, Ragini Nandwani, Baburaj, Aju Varghese, Vijay Babu
Rating: Two and a half stars
‘Peruchazhi’ is a relative lightweight member of the animal kingdom but the poor creature somewhere, somehow got anointed with qualities like difficult-to-displace shrewdness and difficult-to-match survival instinct. These are the kind of adjectives that will easily fit into place when we describe our superstars too. They know how to balance their career by allotting dates for arthouse movies, sentimental dramas as well as pure entertainers (read mindless masala).
The latest offering by Mohanlal belongs to the last category and director Arun Vaidyanathan has packed it with so much spice that even if one ingredient fails to please, there is still something else for that die-hard fan. Surprisingly, the ageing superstar still seems to enjoy a good following among the college going generation and that is why the producers are likely to get back their money.
Jagannathan is a sort of political consultant who knows how to turn the tables and is put to good use by a minister (played well by Mukesh). But the minister gets insecure as Jagannathan rises in stature and sends him off to America to help a Malayali campaign manager of governor candidate John Kory, who is struggling with his ratings.
The rest of the action takes place in Obama’s Own Country and accompanying the protagonist are Baburaj and Aju Varghese, the former coming up with some good comedy, proving that such side roles are his forte. Many of the funny lines by the protagonist do not create the intended effect but some of his hip swaying antics do bring a smile.
And a fresh mannerism – twisting the lips in the manner of a bandicoot – is added to create that heroic halo, besides of course the time-tested slow motion walk with a swagger. Oh yes, there is also the romantic sequence. The love-starved Jagannathan picks up an Indian origin street hooker called Jessy and offers her a one-month contract, in a scene reminiscent of Edward Lewis and Vivian Ward of Pretty Woman. And absolutely no prizes for guessing, a real love blooms between the two.
During the credits scene and throughout the movie too, famous dialogues are sprinkled to capitalise on the Lalettan charm that has withstood the test of time. The director is not too keen even to attempt or sustain the make-belief and there is no real difference between Jagannathan and Mohanlal.