With the magical combo of Mohanlal and Sreenivasan in action, there are times when the movie reminds us of some of their glorious years together, on screen. But as it eventually turns out, the film is nowhere near the gems from those days.
Gopikrishnan (Sreenivasan) is an Assistant Town Planning Officer, who misuses his powers, bends rules on receiving bribes and never cares about the poor. He has great dreams about his daughter and is saving money to get a seat for her admission to a medical college.
Sukumaran (Mohanlal) approaches Gopikrishnan for approval to build a house. The two were part of a scuffle earlier and the Town Planner makes life hell for the hapless Sukumaran. Now, we can't reveal further about the storyline as there are some suspense elements involved here.
In all fairness, there are some really nice elements in the story and Sreenivasan has smartly woven it all into a decent script, which makes the movie a watchable one. But the problem here is that it never goes beyond a superficial level with the story of a corrupt system being limited to a few characters.
The lives of the two protagonists get intertwined in a surprising way which makes matters even worse and a bit clichéd as well.
The narrative could have been more interesting if the director had gone for a more stylish or a modern presentation, but no such luck here. The strength of the story is some surprising twists in the tale but too many of them make it a tad boring after a while.
At more than two hours and thirty minutes the film takes a leisurely pace to unfurl. The visuals by Manoj Pillai and the music by M G Sreekumar are fine.
Mohanlal looks good in his role, though it's not a demanding. Still he makes things live with his inimitable style and dialogue delivery, which has been strength all along, but was missing in some of his recent movies. Sreenivasan makes his character repeat some of his trademark gestures and even those lines from some of his yesteryear films, at times. But he has played his part pretty well, in general.
Sameera Reddy plays Mohanlal's wife, who has filed a divorce suit. She looks wooden most of the times, but then perhaps her character has been moulded in that way. Devayani has to look nice and dumb, as she is never aware about her husband's ruthless ways, does it in a nice way.
Oru Naal Varum handles a relevant issue, but the problem here is the way it has been told. Of course, even in its current shape, the film is really good when compared to the rest of the movies that are being churned out in Malayalam these days. Well, that itself is some reason to watch this one pronto!
Verdict: Above Average