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Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Malayalam Movie China Town

 Three men who are desperately trying to make you laugh, an age old good-versus-evil story, the usual confusions -romance-comedy mix… Director duo Rafi-Mecartin’s China Town is all about this. The attempt is to make the viewers laugh all the time and in all fairness, there are some hilarious moments in the first half, but things get shaky from then on.

The story begins in 1986, when a dreaded don Gowda (Pradeep Rawat) brutally murders three of the four partners of a casino at China Town in Goa. Years later, Gomez (Captain Raju), who had survived the tragedy, tries to find the sons of his murdered friends to hand over his highflying casino.

Of the three, Mathukkutty (Mohanlal) is a local goonda, Zachariah (Jayaram) is in dire straits after the failure of his business and Binoy (Dileep) has gone through several heartbreaks in his love life. There are more characters like the home minister (Bharat Dabholkar), a comic don (Suraj Venjarammoodu) and of course the heroines played Kavya Madhavan, Poonam Bajwa and Dipasha.

Though there is nothing so great about the storyline, the three heroes make the initial sequences genuinely funny. Mohanlal’s brawls with a few baddies and Dileep’s antics are really nice, but some of the comedy sequences have been lifted directly from certain yesteryear films in Malayalam and the dialogues, even from SMS-jokes!

The twist in the tale, which takes the story ahead in the second half, has heavily been inspired from the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster The Hangover. The script loses its grip with mix ups, drunken scenes and chaos follow making it hard for the viewer to figure out what’s happening on screen.

There are glimpses of the brilliance that they have always been known for, but still Rafi-Mecartin miss the mark to a great extent in this one. Azhagappan’s camera is really good and Jassie Gift’s tunes are quite nice.
Mohanlal looks good and has put his heart and soul into the character, which is perhaps the strength of the film as well. Dileep and Jayaram support him quite well, but the former’s beard and the latter’s wig look totally out of place. The heroines have nothing much to do, other than to look pretty and behave dumb.

Bollywood actors Pradeep Rawat (who played the villain in Ghajini) and Bharat Dabholkar do what most north-Indian baddies have been doing in Malayalam films, say the dialogues in various languages and get bashed up by the hero. Suraj Venjarammoodu repeats his trademark style once again, in a predictable way.
China Town works fine, if you leave your brains back home. It belongs to the ‘don’t think too much about what is happening’ kind, which defies logic but leaves you in splits at times. Now the choice is yours!

Verdict: Super Hit

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