Bhaskar the Rascal Review
Siddique's 'Bhaskar the Rascal' is a film sans an internal narrative logic that hardly outweighs its jaded stereotypes. The only redeeming fact about the two and a half hour long film is the highly agreeable combination of its four lead actors - Mammootty, Nayantara, Sanoop and Anikha - all of whom desperately struggle to bring in some sense into an otherwise bizarre storyline.
Aadi (Sanoop Santhosh) is a motherless kid, who mortified at his dad Bhaskar's (Mammootty) behaviour keeps imploring him to watch his tongue and actions. His best friend Shivani (Anikha) is distraught that she and her mom Hima (Nayantara) have been left alone in the world, ever since her dad Sanjay Sharma (Chakravarthy) was shot dead by a group of miscreants.
When the children decide that it would be a wonderful idea to bring their parents together, Bhaskar takes to the idea warmly, while Hima is aghast. Reluctantly though, she gives in when an unexpected twist in the plot thwarts the couple's marriage plans.
'Bhaskar the Rascal' is a film that cashes in on Mammootty's dad image to the core. While the actor plays a combination of the various screen dads that he has played till date, it remains that Bhaskar has neither the affability that Pappoos' dad had, or the suaveness that made Daddy Cool a style icon of sorts.
On the other hand, Bhaskar is supposedly less a man of words and more a man of action. There are instances galore when he gets to prove his combat skills, though it leaves none but Shivani impressed. He is chaperoned around by a group of asinine aides led by a loud mouthed manager (Saju Navodaya), a wrestler thug (Kalabhavan Shajon)and a driver (Harisree Ashokan).
It will always remain a mystery as to why people who are chased, drive straight on to the end of a pier, and it's exactly here that Siddique lands Bhaskar and the rest of the baddies in a shoddily executed climax that is ridden with gunshots - left, right and centre. It's a fortune however that they end up killing each other and Bhaskar is united with Hima in no time, even as the smoke and fumes still hang around in the air.
There is also a quite embarrassing parallel track that involves an actress Rani Kabeer (Isha Talwar in an extended cameo), which must have been added on to bring in that extra ounce of glitz. No purpose whatsoever is served, and Rani Kabeer merely prances around making little difference to the story that is being told.
I should admit nevertheless that 'Bhaskar the Rascal' is marginally more enjoyable than Siddique's recent cinematic outings, and there are at least a couple of moments in the film that has the house in splits. But it is not a patch on those hilarious comedy entertainers that we still fondly remember the director for.
What is tremendously sad about the film is that 'Bhaskar the Rascal' has two very authentic performances from two of the best child artistes around - Sanoop and Anikha. They do manage to bring in a radiance to the otherwise pointless plot, and have given their heart and soul into playing Aadi and Shivani. As Bhaskar, Mammootty looks even younger and more dashing than in recent times, while Nayantara appears stunningly gorgeous, and fits the role of the single mother to the T. Telugu actor Chakravarthi seems to have landed at the wrong place at the wrong time, and the comic actors ham it up like there is no tomorrow.
'Bhaskar the Rascal' does not seem to realize that gone are those days when a few fine frames, a couple of hummable songs, an impressive cast and a musty joke here or there could drive in the crowds into the theatres by hoards. The opening festive time euphoria over, 'Bhaskar the Rascal' is unlikely to impress many a film lover further, and neither are his rogue antics gonna find many further takers.
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