Bus Conductor Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2005
Oct 4, 2005 By Paresh C. Palicha

Old wine in a new bottle may be a cliche, but it would suffice to summarise Bus Conductor --Mammootty's New Year gift to his diehard fans.

Director V.M. Vinu has climbed many rungs of the Malayalam cinema success ladder after the hit Baletten a couple of years ago. It is sad, however, that the young filmmaker, credited with the reinvention of Mohanlal at that time, has now produced staid, formula stuff and depended on the star aura of Mammootty for its audience appeal.

It is disappointing to see Mammootty doing the jig. Sure, he looks dashing in khakhi (not the police uniform), stubble and a spunky hairstyle. But a bit more focus on the character would have enhanced the Mammootty magic.

We expect much from writer T.A. Razak, whose recent hits include Vesham, Perumazhakalam and Raapakal. The prolific output, however, seems to have affected the quality. He appears to have been reworking his own scripts from the past. So, here you have a concoction of Vesham and Raapakal with a different backdrop and some street-smart action sequences.

Initially, the audience is thrilled to see the hero in the unfamiliar get-up of a bus conductor-cum-owner from north Kerala. But, as the story progresses, the excitement starts evaporating.

There are allusions to Kerala's private road transport industry in the state, its compulsions, competition, politics and ailments, but these are few and far between. The film might have worked better with its focus on these issues rather than on a family drama of tiresome length.

Mammootty tries to carry the film on his sturdy shoulders. But his character is pulled in different directions - one moment he has to be a distressed bus owner, the next an action hero and then a good-hearted family man. The other characters are dwarfed in his presence.

The supporting cast, including Jaysurya, Harisri Asokan, Bhavana, Bindu Panikar and Kalpana, does not get the deserved footage.

Mammootty fans deserved a better outing this holiday season than this bumpy bus ride.

Paresh C. Palicha