Mahasamudram Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2006
Sep 2, 2006 By Paresh C. Palicha

Onam celebrations have begun for Malayalam cinema with two superstar movies making it to the theatres.

First was Mammootty's "Bhargavacharitham Moonam Khandam", and now comes Mohanlal's "Mahasamudram". Directed by debutant S. Janardhanan, the film sees Mohanlal in the role of a fisherman for the first time in his career.

The film has three major components -- football, sea and Mohanlal. The critic can do no better than consider them one by one.

Lets start with football. We are just out of the World Cup hangover and Zinedine Zidane's infamous head butt has started to fade away from memory, but "Mahasamudram" succeeds in reviving the euphoria, especially in the beginning.

The hero makes a dramatic entry, sporting a number 10 jersey and scoring the winning goal.

Then we proceed to a song on the seashore showing off the dancing prowess of Mohanlal and Rahman along with a few dozen group dancers.

So far so good.

It is the game in the second half that sounds the death knell for the film. Despite a typical life and death situation in the game with all necessary ingredients like cheating, we get a predictable result in the end.

The blatant brand promotion of a financial company becomes a major irritant.

The second important element in the film is the sea. It always presents an opportunity to the director to show a microcosmic society. But this film is densely populated with characters - a church priest (Jagathy Sreekumar), a legislator (Sai Kumar) and his good-for-nothing drug addict nephew (Niyas) are the few who stay with us.

Technically, cameraman Shaji takes a few panoramic shots of the vast sea. Otherwise, it is merely an exotic backdrop to the story.

And last but not least is Mohanlal. The motivation for him to do this film was that he got to play the role of a fisherman for the first time in his long career. But his characterisation offers him nothing to chew upon.

He is the same old golden-hearted and all-sacrificing protagonist who would go to any extent for the common good of his people. He has done it umpteen times and looks out of form when compared to the high standards he has set for himself.

"Mahasamudram" is a disappointment for Mohanlal fans just as "Bhargavacharitham..." was for Mammootty's.

Paresh C. Palicha