In T K Rajeev Kumar's 'Oru Naal Varum' there are two story tracks that run parallel to each other. On the one hand you have Kulappulli Sukumaran (Mohanlal) running after the Assistant Town Planning Officer, Gopikrishnan (Sreenivasan) and frantically trying to get a sanction for the proposed house construction. On the other hand Sukumaran has to deal with his own personal issues as well. His marriage is almost over, and he soon gets embroiled in a custody battle for his daughter with his wife Meera (Sameera Reddy).
Of the two tracks, the second one is that which gets derailed all too often. Its not that the other track is full of punches, but this one loses it from the word go. Dialogues between Sukumaran and Meera often sound like fake to the core. There are suggestions regarding the reasons behind their estrangement, but neither is it dwelled upon for long, nor does it evoke any sympathy.
The core issue here is corruption. Gopikrishnan has no qualms about being neck down in filth. He's a man who just has an MBBS seat for his daughter in immediate sight. He knows he has to shell out a bit more than a few thousands for the same and forgoes none of the opportunities that come his way. Pretty nice, except that this is a man who looks like he knows how to steal and also to cover his tracks up. There are even several instances when he makes the anti-corruption officers look like idiots. So there is no validation to the climax when he acts like a total moron and walks right into the hands of his hunters.
The reason for this is that integrity has to reign supreme. No two questions about it, but the script makes the whole process look like child's play. Take the scene where the officers are in hot pursuit of Gopikrishnan for instance. The man disappears from his jeep midway, substitutes the gold coins in his suitcase with a jasmine garland and reappears. Is this a government officer at the Corporation that they are dealing with or some wizard crook who could grow wings like Batman?
There are flashes of Ividam Swargamanu here and there in the film, but none of the intensity that made the former film a worthy watch. This has to be one of the weakest scripts that have emerged out of Sreeni's pen, and to say that it's a major disappointment would be an understatement.
The script snaps again and again, especially in the latter half, that turns out be just one big run-around for the two leading men. One chase after the other, the film is left with nothing but a few chases. The twist that comes around the end of the first half is where the film comes to a grinding halt. It barely moves a few inches further in the next hour.
Mohanlal is a charmer in the first half, and does have us in splits in at least a couple of scenes. But then there's nothing much left in the film that requires a performer of his caliber. Sreenivasan is strictly adequate, and if you compare the writer and the actor, the latter rules over the former. Sameera Reddy looks like a sore thumb, and the chemistry between the lead pair is zero. Devayani is aptly cast and is a scene saver on quite a few occasions.
There is indeed one thing that's good in the film, and that is its good intent. But regrettably it can't compensate for either a script dotted all over with contrivances or the clumsy direction.