There are films, which blatantly tell the viewer that it need not be taken too seriously. Writer-director B Unnikrishnan’s Mr Fraud is one such film.
This is the kind of film that is perhaps solely targeting the satellite value of its hero, Mohanlal and his huge fan base. With a rather flimsy premise, the film is presented in a grand scale, but it is evident that the opulence is limited to some colourful garments, swanky cars and technical gimmicks.
As it is mandatory in masala stories, the hero is just invincible, handsome, can duck a bullet with a naughty grin on his face or even beat up hunks thrice his size as easily as having a slice of pizza. He is adept in music, romantic, is also a technical wizard and can come up with ideas that only he can think about.
Bhai ji (Mohanlal) is a high-tech robber, who can change his looks and as if it is a surprise, virtually nothing is impossible for him. He has two team members, played by Vijay Babu and Manjari Phadnis, as his chums in those adventures.
Now, he is assigned by some shady (or funny?) men to rob the huge wealth from a palace in Kerala. He comes to the palace as a jewelry expert. As the heirs to the wealth, they hatch plans but our “Mr. Fraud” earns the trust of all the warring groups in the palace in no time!
In a style that is as old as the heist dramas in Bollywood during the times of Manmohan Desai or Dev Anand, the director comes up with a rather ordinary entertainer that can be enjoyed only if you have left your brains back home, while going for the movie.
Even then this one is strictly for the hardcore fans of Mohanlal, who are eager to watch a rehashed versions of the actor’s style and certain sequences that reminds you of his yesteryear hit, His Highness Abdullah.
Satheesh Kurup’s visuals are good but Gopi Sundar’s tunes are a big let down. In the first film in Malayalam after the terrific Drishyam, Mohanlal repeats his trademark mannerisms. The role never demands the actor to storm his brain or to use his fabulous acting skills.It is hero-worship unleashed with chracters glorifying him like- "we are equal but you are the first among the equal" and a lady chaacter says in a lusty manner- "Your salt & pepper look is hot and a big turn on!"
Among the rest of the cast Siddique is fine and Miya tries a bit too hard to remind the viewers of Manju Warrier in Araam Thampuran. Pallavi has been used as a seductress, while Manjari Phadnis looks out of sync. Telugu actor Dev Gill has nothing much to do.
Mr Fraud is the kind of film that will fly out of your head, by the time you are out of the theatre. If your concept of films is limited to that, try this one at your risk.