Unda Malayalam Movie Review
In a shoot-out scene where a Sub Inspector acts as a timid officer is not a fun factor here. It's a reality considering his lack of exposure to such a scenario and want of weapons in that place. Khalid Rahman's second directorial is a reality check on how imperfect preparations and insufficient supply of ammunition affect the confidence of police officers. He has not employed any sarcastic tools to point out the shortcomings of police force but opens a platform for pondering over the real situation that exists. Rahman succeeds in exposing the delay in equipping the force with state-of-the-art facilities through his soft treatment.
'Unda', written by Harshad, is larded with lighter sequences albeit the milieu is a conflict zone where the threat of Maoist attack is looming large. A police battalion, led by SI Manikandan (Mammootty) and his superior Mathew Antony (Renjith), sets out to Chhattisgarh on special assignment duty for the upcoming election in the State. After reaching the Northern state, the group realises that they lack enough bullets and other equipment to counter the Maoists, who are threatening to subvert the electoral process in that village.
In a remote area, the cops are upset by the fact that they lack the real exposure and temperament to face such a situation. Their emotional and professional drawbacks are revealed in tough situations where Manikandan fails to encourage them. The dearth of bullets becomes a nagging problem among them. Jojo Samson, played by Shine Tom Chacko, is annoyed by the divorce notice sent by his wife. At times, his fear also comes to light as he sleeps by cuddling a rifle at night.
Jojo and Girish, essayed by Arjun Asokan, argue about the concept of marriage occasionally as the latter, who is a bachelor, is very optimistic about married life. Constable Biju Kumar (Lukeman Lukku), who is hailing from a tribal village, faces discrimination from some of his colleagues and this conveys an irritating truth.
It's a hard-hitting movie that portrays the shortcomings of police force, but a gripping tale and intensity are missing. The insight into the theme is a tad behind your expectation and it creates the feel of a peripheral approach. At a glance, 'Unda' reminds you of the premise of Hindi film 'Newton', which is strikingly embellished with mordant humor and dark reality.
The stardom of Mammootty is rightly toned down in 'Unda' for exposing the helplessness of a superior officer while dealing with a tough situation as well his subordinates. Albeit scenes of showcasing Mammootty's real acting power are hard to come by, his presence exudes a sort of vigour to the proceedings. Manikandan is concerned about his men around him and it is evident when he tells his wife over phone to keep a tab on the well-being of the pregnant wife of his colleague.
The film also highlights the struggles of police officers to cope with emotional starvation. The official lethargy in fulfilling the vital needs of the policemen has come out well. Sajith Purushan excels in creating apt frames and visuals while Prashant Pillai lends perfect background score.