Sapthama Shree Thaskaraha Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
In his second film, Anil Radhakrishnan Menon dwells on the lives of seven inmates of the Viyyoor Central Jail, who put their heads together to plan a heist job, to rob moneybags Pious (Joy Mathew)of the immense amount of illegitimate wealth that the man has amassed over the years. Out in the open, they see to it that the scheme is resourcefully put into practice, and make their way steadily towards the vault here Pious has stashed away all his moolah.
The seven men are as dissimilar to each other as they possibly could be, and yet the commonness of their aim, drive them forwards together. The narrator of the tale is Martin (Vinod Jose) who had been making a humble living with petty burglaries until the long arms of the law caught up with him. Krishnan Unni (Prithviraj) has a personal axe to grind with Pious, having lost his wife (Reenu Mathews) in a scuffle with him, and so does Noble (Nedumudi Venu) who has turned pauper, having fallen prey to Pious' vile ways.
Narayanan Kutty (Neeraj Madhav) lands in the jail due to his electronic skills that go all wrong, while Salaam Paasha (Salaam Bukhari) is a magician who had gone berserk at an audience that had turned a bit too insensitive. Leaf Vasu (Sudheer Karamana), the much dreaded thug has had a few birds fly out of his ears after an unfortunate accident that has left him with a sole focus - that on food. And last but certainly there is Shabab (Asif Ali), who through his words and deeds has proclaimed himself as the seeker of justice among the lot.
I heard someone murmur that it should indeed be a small world for two men having a common adversary - Krishnan Unni and Noble - to be thrown together in the same cell, but then life is all about coincidences. And it's understandable that a few of the tales told in flashback take a while longer than the others, since that's the way it is in real life as well!
It's Martin who gets to speak some of the best one-liners in the film, and at least a couple of them are bound to have you in splits. Especially engrossing is the backdrop of the narrative that has the story unravelling in the form of a confession that Martin makes to a priest (Lijo Jose Pellissery in an excellent cameo).
The highly entertaining former half of the film is peppered with tony titbits of jovialities all over, that it flows by like a breeze. The series of engaging incidents that appears in quick succession and the clever gags that abound in the first hour are sure to keep you amused. The characterisation is immensely detailed as well, all of which make you look forward to the latter half with expectations galore.
Surprisingly, things turn a bit dreary all on a sudden, what with the execution of the plan almost appearing as if taking place in real time, and the detailing starts getting a bit too wearisome. It goes on for a while in the mode, until things perk up yet again towards the climax. The denouement is all shitty (literally), but it keeps you entertained without doubt.
There are also the similarities that exist between the film and a few recent movies in Malayalam that have dealt with akin themes that cannot be ignored. Even the twist in the climax, as much exciting as it seems, has the faint flourishes of a good natured mess written all over it.
Here is a film that can boast of some bravura performances, and leading the lot is Chemban Jose, Neeraj Madhav and Sudheer Karamana. Prithviraj deserves a very special round of applause for daringly deciding to be content with being just one among the seven, wisely laying aside his star status for a while.
'Sapthamasree Thaskara' is a decent watch for the family this festive season, but as someone who has been tremendously bowled over by the director's first film, I would say I was a tad let down with his second effort. However, offering plenty of unalloyed pleasure, 'Sapthamasree Thaskara' could still be the one reason why you should visit a cinema hall this week.