Joshey's 'Christian Brothers' appears more like a scaled down version of his own 'Twenty Twenty' that is still considered the mother of all multi starrers. And by scaled down, I mean scalded down further in story, logic and entertainment.
If you thought this was going to be a huge family of brothers going by the title, then you might be mistaken, like I was. Christi (Mohanlal) has just one brother, and a younger one at that, Joji (Dileep). Christi is a word renowned informer, while Joji who has gone to Rome to become a priest heads straight for London, since love beckons in the form of Meenakshi, the Kerala Home Minister's daughter (Kavya Madhavan).
The Christian brothers have two sisters as well Stella (Kaniha) and Jessy (Lekshmi Gopalaswami). Not much more of the story could be divulged here, as the tale itself is wafer thin. It's a very convenient mode of story telling that the script writers have adopted here. Place an array of characters on one line and another row facing them and draw up connecting lines between the two, either by marrying them off or by pulling the trigger at one or two.
The few rules that you need to keep in mind, if it all should fall in place and make sense are: 1. It's a very small world, and you are related to everyone else no matter which corner of the world you are presently in. 2. There is always an element of misunderstanding behind every father-son relationship that has ever gone kaput. 3. The Home Minister has the most annoying cook in the world, who spends more time in the company of bureaucrats in the living room than in the kitchen.
This is quite a blood-spattered film, and almost everyone has at least a small revolver tucked in somewhere. Bullets are fired randomly, just as you toss groundnuts into your mouth at the beach. Thankfully, those heavy thugs who charge towards the hero from all possible sides in the action sequences are spared many a fisticuff. They just about start the rushing-towards-the-hero process, when Wham goes the gun! They are blown off in no time.
There is only one actor who makes a heavy impact amidst all this mayhem, and its Mohanlal. The dramatic somersault entry through spurts of fire not withstanding, this film rests entirely on his shoulders and he makes the rest of them seem like his aides, which indeed they are in the film. Sarath Kumar is there in a cameo, and Dileep in an extended cameo, while Suresh Gopi stomps around mouthing dialogues that have long lost their fire. Never before has Suraj Venjarammoodu appeared as insufferable as in this film, and at times you wish that you could just lean over and wipe him off the screen.
The musical score by Deepak Dev is more earsplitting than melodic, and of the songs the Sayya Ve song (if you forget the picturisation) is the only one that leaves a mark. The film is also in dire need of some clever editing that could trim it down by at least half an hour. At three hours, it is excessively long.
Christian Brothers is a plain rework of the several family feud sagas that the script writers themselves have cooked up in the past. Its sole selling point is then the star power that it has, and the mammoth star cast should hopefully make its sailing almost smooth.