Director- Anoop Kannan
Cast- Mammootty, Sreenivasan, Asif Ali, Mamta Mohandas, Baburaj etc.
Review By : Unni R Nair
A real good opportunity gone waste- that’s what I would say of ‘Jawan of Vellimala’, the debut directorial venture of Anoop Kannan. The debut director got Mammootty’s support not just as the lead actor, but as the producer as well; and there was a real good cast too at hand- Sreenivasan, Asif Ali, Mamta etc- plus the picturesque dam location. Anoop Kannan has not been able to make use of any of these to deliver a film worth reckoning. A half-baked script and a film that seems to have no sense of direction- that’s how I’d sum up ‘Jawan of Vellimala’.
Vellimala is a little village among the hills and consequent to agitations by people there and the loss of one life in the agitation, a dam comes up in the little village. Years later, the life in the little village revolves around the massive dam, which also plays a major role in generating electricity for the whole state.
Gopikrishnan (Mammootty) is a retired army Jawan who works at the dam, as an operator as well as night watchman. He is known as someone who fears ghosts and hence his army tales too are seen as mere bluff. He has visions of a strange kind and also has some kind of a soft-corner for Anitha (Mamta Mohandas), the camp officer at the dam. In the meantime, a new executive engineer named Varghese (Sreenivasan) joins up at the dam. He smells something fishy going on and takes up things. Meanwhile Koshy Oomen (Asif), the young son of a contractor comes up, requesting Varghese to sanction the bill presented by his late father so as to save his family from financial crisis.
Well, this is the premise on which the whole edifice of the film’s script rests. So, where would all these lead to? What next? How would you blend these all if you were a writer or a director? Are you confused? I bet the makers of ‘Jawan of Vellimala’ would have been confused. This confusion tells upon the totality of the film, which is far from impressive. You don’t have a great storyline, you don’t have great performances, you don’t have a film that gives you your money’s worth. You end up confused on what it was all about and go home wondering why the film was made.
Mammootty is OK; there is nothing outstanding about his performance. In fact there is nothing outstanding about anyone’s performance and I’d say the director and the writer needs to take blame for that. Neither Sreenivasan nor Asif makes an impression and Mamta too is wasted.
Nothing much to say; the cinematographer however could have delivered some spectacular frames, which at least would have remained in our minds.
Songs are all average ones and the background score OK.
James Albert, the man who penned the script for the memorable Classmates fails to make a mark this time. He has faltered as regards plot development and characterization and seems to be more focused on Mammootty’s star image, which too has not been exploited well. You wonder why he had created a half-baked character named Rafi (played by Kottayam Nazeer) and also why he needed to make a caricature out of Baburaj’s character. It’s all a mess.
Debutant director Anoop Kannan seems to have taken Mammootty’s presence for granted and perhaps forgot that the script is of supreme importance, even if it’s a film made for fans. Or else, he was carried away by the premise of having a film made with a dam as the backdrop and forgot about characterization. There are so many characters in the film and you reflect sadly that none of them have been worked out satisfactorily well. Post half-time it’s sort of a mess and totally unimpressive. Better luck next time, Anoop Kannan.
Verdict- Great opportunity gone waste for debutant director!!