Lokanathan IAS Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film
Sep 16, 2005 By TT, Sep 20

Lokanathan-IAS could have been named Senthilnathan IAS, dubbed in Tamil & released all over Tamil Nadu and it would have been a much better hit than L-IAS is in Kerala. That's what can be said in one sentence about the latest offering from the 'Karuthamuthu' of Malayalam films – Kalabhavan Mani. He takes the film on his single but broad shoulders and does it well too till the end of the first half. But the second half is far away from reality and the director fumbles throughout the latter part of the film. Even the average film buff can read through the director’s unsuccessful attempt to beef up the wafer-thin storyline.

The protagonist was witness at a very young age to the murder of his father. L-IAS is about the boy's life and struggle, ups and downs, friends and foes, how he makes it big in life fulfilling his father's dreams, how he avenges his father’s murder, how he deals with the issues & problems of the people around him, and so forth. The director is under the misconception that the story line is off the beaten track and that with Mani essaying the role it would make a difference, and is naïve enough to believe that the audience would lap it up. The film has a lot of unwanted twists and turns, and often deviates from the main plot. Unlike, Ben Johnson, which was a film of similar genre, with a fast paced storyline till the last frame, L-IAS meanders throughout the second half.

L-IAS - the first solo offering from Anil (of the Anil - Babu duo) is a big let down in almost all the departments, even though, there are lots of pluses for the film mainly for the way the action sequences are choreographed, the cinematography, the editing, and the dialogues (though this last will often remind you of the dialogues of one superstar or the other in earlier films). The promotional activities undertaken by Mani himself for the film during the Onam season on a couple of regional TV channels would perhaps be the only reason for the film to break even.

For Mani, L-IAS comes after a very forgettable low budget offering - 'Maanikyan'. While his own performance is commendable, those of Kalasala Babu, Ranjith, Sreeraman, Baburaj and T G Ravi (as Mani's father) are above average. The female cast, which includes the likes of KPAC Lalitha, Gayathri Jayaram and Suja Karthika, has little to do. The same can be said of actors like Harisree Ashokan, Salimkumar, Nishand Sagar, Saadhique, Narayanan Kutty and Narayanan Nair.

Anandkuttan cranks the camera. M. Jayachandran handles the music department but is a big let down, keeping in mind that he was the music director for films like 'Balettan' among others. On the whole the performance of most departments is average, except for the action choreography, which packs a lot of originality and realism.

TT, Sep 20