Shikhamani (Vinod Jose) is a railway gang man who serves at the station that lies on the outskirts of the dense Korangini forests. The man, who knows the jungle inside out, has been rendering a stupendous service to the railways by clearing the obstacles that befell the railways tracks that run through the impenetrable forests.
When he comes across Devika, an injured girl (Mridula Murali) in the forest, Shikhamani doesn't realize that she is a wanted terrorist on the run. Eventually, when she opens up before him, Shikhamani realizes that nothing is what it seems to be. Joining her on the run, Shikhamani hopes to lead her out of the forest, without falling prey to the bullets.
Granted that the film talks of social issues that make criminals out of innocent young men and women, and the aftermath of an economic imbalance that without doubt prevails. But 'Shikhamani' is a bummer of a film that leaves only disappointments in its wake.
The film that starts with a bus ride with Shikhamani boarding it, has a shock in store with one of the commuters breaking into a song to lure more passengers! And I thought this was 2016, when we had proceeded way beyond all that silliness!
And it doesn't end there. Love blooms between Shikhamani and Devika, and it all gets romantic and cosy for a while. There are even a couple of songs to further emphasize the point. For those of us who have with baited breath to find out how a pretty girl like Devika ended up a terrorist, she has a tale to tell.
Another flashback ensues, and this time it's quite a long one. A few laments are made on how education has turned out to be a luxury that could only be afforded by the rich. It is further reaffirmed that the crooked system is what breeds terrorism, and terms as 'revolution' are uttered with aplomb.
But all this comes down to nothing, when the anti terrorist squadron leader (Chakravarthy) arrives with a definite motive in mind. Thereon, 'Shikhamani' revels in following a cat and mouse game, with Devika and the gagman fleeing for their lives and the police officers following them firing a few bullets every now and then.
Vinod Jose does an okay job as Shikhamani while Mridula Murali comes up with a convincing presentation. Chakravarthy goes way over the board and shocks us with an overdramatic performance. Noby and Mukesh lend ample support.
What is indeed noteworthy in 'Shikhamani' are the decent frames that Manoj Pillai comes up. The film has an elevating musical score by Bijibal, that quite clearly stays way above the rest of the proeceedings.
It had been a few years since we got to see the protagonist hanging on to the edge of a cliff in the climax, and 'Shikhamani' has ample doses of this visual twaddle that is expected to have you twist around on your seats. All I did however was to take one final look at the man, ensure that all was well, and head straight back home. Peace.
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