|Mammootty, Isha Talwar, Meena|
For all those fans of legendary writer Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer, here is a chance to meet the characters again, as debutant director Pramod Payyannur lines up some of them in his Balyakalasakhi. But this adaptation of the book of the same title is too dramatic and never goes beyond this nostalgic showcasing of those characters.
Majeed (Mammootty) and Suhara (Isha Talwar) have been in love ever since they were kids. The story happens in a flashback as Majeed, who is in Kolkata, narrates his eventful journey. The childhood days are shown in detail, with Mammootty and Meena playing the roles of Majeed’s parents.
The dramatic presentation and dialogues makes it obvious that the lines have been taken straight out of the book and delivered as if it is being read aloud, without much efforts to make it all fit in to a cinematic pattern.
Now, even if you are ready to accept the style of the narrative during the first half, the film suffers heavily with a messy second half that is barely entertaining. Pramod Payyannur’s maiden attempt on screen is barely gripping and lacks the finesse. That in fact is disappointing considering the fact that one of the main highlights of Basheer’s stories are its ability to transcend time.
Though it is generally a halfhearted attempt from Mammootty, there are glimpses of his talent, during certain scenes where he comes as Majeed’s father. Seema Biswas shines as Selvi, who helps Majeed after he reaches Kolkata.
The rest of the cast, which includes Isha Talwar, Meena, Sasi Kumar and Tanushree Ghosh, is okay at best. While the original story narrated the intricacies of human mind, friendship and romance, the film version ends up as a drama on screen and sadly, ends without leaving some real impact on the viewer. Now, the decision is all yours!