Rajesh Nair's 'Escape from Uganda' is a cat and mouse game that involves an Indian family of three, settled on the Ugandan soil. The thrills are missing here and if you do not a skip a heartbeat or two, as the grand escape is being planned and executed, blame it wholly on the jaded script.
Shikha Samuel (Rima Kallingal), along with her husband Jayakrishnan (Vijay Babu), has chosen of all places in the world, Uganda, to find refuge in, after her family in Kerala objects to their marriage. She soon sets up a boutique of her own in the African country, and on a night all on a sudden finds her world torn apart, when her best friends gets murdered and she is accused of manslaughter.
Don't shout 'The Next Three Days' since there is a disclaimer right at the start that the makers might have been inspired by 'Anything for Her'. So now, it's up to you to decide where all that inspiration originates from; but there is no denying the fact that the brainwave is definitely stirred up from somewhere called Hollywood.
The story that concerns itself with shiny, stellar pieces called diamonds, barely moves forward for the entire first hour. It's more of a family thing with Jayakrishnan trying hard to convince his daughter to go meet her mom who is in jail. There is a whole lot of story telling and school, that you almost forget that Shikha is in jail, until someone reminds you of it.
Inside the jail, things look pretty grim. Just as I was wondering if they would talk of sexual abuse in jails, along walk in two gigantic lady officers, who must have been eyeing Shikha for a while. The girl puts up a brave fight and even bites off more than she can chew, and when she is hung upside down with her head immersed in a bowl of water, you have one chestnut that is found in every jail film depicted with aplomb.
No prizes for guessing who the real baddie is, and if you haven't identified the person even as the film rushes to its climax, I would say perhaps you haven't been watching enough of these thrillers. The surprise element is pretty low whichever way you look at it, and it only adds to the mediocre feel that the film maintains throughout.
This one seems a funny jail with potholes on the ground leading under the barned fence and straight out into the free world. So Shikha escapes into the open arms of her hubby who has been waiting out there, and together they manage to fly away.
Rima almost gets to be an action queen though only in last fifteen minutes of the film or so. The rest of it, she spends in jail with a morose expression that is quite understandable, given the situation that she is in. But there is no denying the fact that she has the agility that is required of the role, and that she fits the role to the 'T'.
The men take the backseat for a change, and Vijay Babu as the desperate husband does a neat job, while Parthiban plays it way over the top. There is Mukesh in a cameo and Joju George in an amusing guest appearance. There are a whole lot of African actors too; some of whom look pretty much at ease in front of the camera, while some others seem discomfited.
Much of the dialogues are stilted, like the one when Antony refers to the couple's daughter Meenu's name and adds that he too loves Meen (fish)! Which is why when someone shouted 'Escape' in the theatres, I'm not really sure if he meant from Uganda.