Sathyam Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2004 | Action, Drama
Aug 26, 2004 By Paresh C. Palicha

Malayalam cinema gets yet another police saga with "Sathyam: The Real Identity", the Onam offering from Vinayan-Prithviraj team.

Though billed as an "unusual" Vinayan film, it offers the same fare as an average film of this genre. Be sure, however, that this 14-reeler is entertaining if not riveting.

The story is usually about a petty sub-inspector of police single-handedly taking on the vicious nexus of politician, liquor mafia, high-ranking police officers and street goons.

So what do we have here? An old, honest head constable Ayyappan (Thilakan), dismissed from service because he stretched his ideals too far, wants his son Sanjeev (Pritviraj) to become a police officer.

If you have started thinking that this is reminiscent of Sibi Malayil-directed Mohanlal classic "Kireedom" (1989), forget it.

Our hero is made of sterner stuff. He is cast in the mould of superstar Suresh Gopi, who has the guts to take on the corrupt system to fulfil his father's wish.

The story starts with the hero being chased by the city police in the crowded centre of Kochi.

His crime: he needs a verification certificate from Police Commissioner Mukundan to appear for the sub-inspector test, but the commissioner has vowed not to let Sanjeev become a sub inspector.

The reason: he has old scores to settle with Sanjeev's father, who had exposed the commissioner's corrupt ways.

This is sure to sound hackneyed, but the director makes it look surprisingly good on the big screen.

The story becomes even more predictable after Sanjeev gets the certificate and becomes a sub inspector. He deals with the corrupt with an iron fist; sings love songs with his sweetheart on the beaches, and mouths bombastic dialogue about the society's weak morality.

Prithviraj impresses as Sanjeev Kumar. His stylistic performance looks attractive. The only point he should be careful about is his dialogue delivery because his voice seems to tear off when he has to deliver loud monologues.

Others of the cast, including heroine Priyamani, have little scope to show their histrionic capabilities. They have to be either very loud or extraordinarily subdued.

Songs act as speed breakers in this fast movie. We could hear a sigh in unison from the audience whenever the actors broke into a song.

Overall, however, while not a spellbinder like Suresh Gopi's "Commissioner", the film is still worth watching once.

Paresh C. Palicha