Kanal Malayalam Movie Review
Padmakumar's 'Kanal' is a befuddled film that revels in celebrating retribution, like several of its forerunners have done, and a few quite fruitfully at that. 'Kanal' however is hampered by a half baked script that packs too much of an issue into a roll, and which lets lose many a question and concern, eventually offering zilch resolutions.
It's the voiceover from none other than Prithviraj that sets 'Kanal' rolling, and Padmakumar lays out his players on a train during the initial moments of the film. Leading the pack is none other than John David (Mohanlal), who comes across as a man who is determined to flaunt his charms on all and sundry, and who is tremendously successful at that. There is also Anantha Raman (Anoop Menon), the CEO of a channel that is currently in dire straits, and from there on 'Kanal' moves ahead with a vengeance (pun unintended), stuffing its tale with several characters who make little difference.
The pied-piper role that Mohanlal essays in the former half is reminiscent of a few other roles that he has done in the recent past, and the film even makes it seem for a while that some decent thrills are in the offing. Ultimately, when none of the anticipated excitement is delivered, 'Kanal' turns out to be an ember over which the script writer has unwittingly poured some water.
Perhaps the gravest error regarding 'Kanal' comes with regard to its slipshod editing and the intolerably lengthy running time of the film. Which is indeed why 'Kanal' comes across as a laidback film that never puts across convincingly what it wants to convey.
It remains that the film has been set against the backdrop of the recession, and along comes the villain - Kuruvilla (Atul Kulkarni), which eventually leads to a confrontation scene between John David and the baddie business man himself. Here is a scene that falls ways below expectations, and which appears synthetic to the core, with the dramatics flaring up like never before.
There are a few attempts at creating a few light moments here and there, with actors as Innocent and Kochu Preman pitching in their little bits. That these do not in any way help the film or its account is another matter altogether, and 'Kanal' suffers from the overbearing weight of its confused narrative.
Mohanlal looks quite dashing in the film, though the character that he essays in it, does not demand anything taxing from him, as an actor. Anoop Menon does a pretty neat job as well, while there are also a host of other actors like Atul Kulkarni and Prathap Pothen in the fray, not forgetting to mention the female actors as Honey Rose, Sheelu Abraham and Nikita Thukral.
'Kanal' has nothing much to offer in terms of the technical support as well, with the cinematography by Vinod Illampally remaining strictly adequate. The musical score is by Ouseppachan, and with the songs mindlessly appearing at all the wrong moments, that turns out to be a royal disappointment as well.
It's disheartening to see 'Kanal' bite the dust, despite the earnest attempts of its leading cast to retrieve it from the ashes. Not even the magical presence of its lead actor seems to be of help. The Osho quotes do not seem to be of much support either.