Babu Janardhan's 'God for Sale' is a dopey exercise in film making that puts you to sleep in no time. It is both unfocused and diluted, and never really gets to express what it has in mind, (no) thanks to its almost one-dimensional characters.
Prasannan Nair (Kunchacko Boban), has a very modest upbringing at a village in Attingal, before he joins the Law Academy to pursue a degree in Law. Having passed out of college, Prasannan marries Anu (Anumol), conveniently forgetting all that his childhood sweetheart Vimala (Jyothi Krishna) had done for him.
Prasannan soon goes leftist as far as his political ideologies are concerned, and turns out to be a far different man from the one who had once vowed to demolish the controversial masjid. Soon he converts into Christianity and when he exhorts his wife to follow suit, she makes a revelation that shatters his life. With no other option left, he forces himself to evolve into a Godman, earns hoards of followers in no time, and is soon jailed under allegations of having conducted human sacrifice.
What is perhaps most surprising is that though the film has been titled 'God for Sale' and had suggested that it was about a Godman, there is very little in it about the Godman himself. Though it starts off with the arrest of the Swami, it soon concerns itself with his biography, rapidly moving from one phase of his life to the next.
We cannot forget that there have been spectacular films already that have discussed the business of religion with elan. 'God for Sale' isn't a patch on those films, and has very little to proffer in terms of its content or staging. Any comparisons with films like 'Ekalavyan' would therefore seem odious, and totally unwarranted.
The very first shot of Kunchacko Boban in the court room does remind us of a good-looking Swami whom we had got to know through the media not long back. But the initial curiosity having subsided, there is little in the film that holds our interest any further as it meanders around aimlessly, with no sense of direction or purpose.
Let's face it. There is nothing provocative or earth shattering about the idea being discussed, and if the execution does not manage to grab your attention either, it's obvious that the makers are on slippery land. So when it all deteriorates into the usual routine, you simply end up wishing that it had scratched a little bit harder.
Of the cast, Kunchacko Boban is quite convincing as Prasannan Nair, while Anumol puts up yet another polished act as his confused wife. Jyothi Krishna, Suraj Venjarammoodu and Thilakan lend ample support. That these actors have no other choice but to trot around in this mess of a script is another unfortunate matter altogether.
Technically too, the film appears quite middling and stands apart on account of its ordinariness. There are simply no excuses for the mediocrity on show, especially when even the most unassuming of media productions these days do focus on technical finesse.
I guess there isn't anything wrong in expecting a creation far more superior from a writer of Babju Janardhan's caliber. 'God for Sale' fails to deliver, and that too in royal proportions!