It's astonishing to see a writer of Ranjith's stature touch such deplorable depths as he does in 'Loham', with a screenplay that almost makes a mockery of the one hundred and forty minutes of running time that the film has. With a story that is literally non-existent, 'Loham' is a whole lot of commotion signifying almost nothing.
When Jayanthi (Andrea Jeremiah) lands in the city of Cochin, looking for her missing husband who is a customs officer, she hails a cab and makes an acquaintance with a cab driver who is a charmer all the way. Raju (Mohanlal) as he is called, even makes her dosas and bowls her over with his chutney that transforms her opinion of him.
There is also a parallel track that involves a dead body being brought in from the middle east, with some emotional drama thrown in, in good measure. And then there are a hundred other tracks as well, involving a multitude of characters, with several of these narratives overlapping over one another, and generating an ambience of tremendous bewilderment.
The former half of the film, as much as it remains uneventful, maintains a steady pace of narrative with a few entertaining one-liners here and there, and leads on straight to the interval when Raju shows his true colours. It wouldn't qualify for a surprise as such, and the excitement that should have made the scene particularly different is sadly missing as well.
The latter half is riddled with several individuals making a brisk appearance, and it gets quite tedious after a while to keep track of each of them as they move about vigorously. This bedlam and chaos steadily mounts until it becomes almost unbearable, with the audience losing out on several pieces of the puzzle, irrespective of the attentiveness that is bestowed on the film.
One then keeps ones fingers crossed for a miracle to resurrect the film, through a distinctive climax that has often made a Ranjith film memorable. No such luck this time around, and with a downer of a finale, 'Loham' sinks to the bottom, carrying along with it the tangled and weak script that had caused its ruin.
Mohanlal does a neat job of playing the cab driver, and even gets to roll up his moustache in a scene, but that is as far as he gets when it comes to the role that he essays in 'Loham'. There are innumerable other actors who appear in major and minor roles, but its Siddique who leaves an impression along with the actor who plays his accomplice. Andrea proves her competence as well in her role that is however in no way earth shattering.
The initial song that strikes a surprise on you within the first few minutes of the film, by appearing at a most inopportune moment, is followed by a few other songs as well, that are equally ill-timed. With several scenes unrelated to one another and adding to the disarray, 'Loham' looks like it could have benefitted from some better editing as well. Kunjunni S Kumar however comes up with a few noteworthy frames that lend some sheen to this otherwise patchy affair.
'Loham' has none of the shine or shimmer that was expected of it. At best it looks like an antique bronze piece that has taken some fine patina all over it.
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