Big B Review

Amal Neerad, who is product of the SRFTI and a cinematographer groomed mainly, doing films by the Ram Gopal Verma factory, makes his directorial debut with the Malayalam film, Big B. While Big B is a very different film compared to any other Malayalam film and sparkles with technical brilliance, good acting, a well-written script etc, there are of course shortcomings too that mar the totality of the film in many ways.


Big B begins with the murder of Mary Teacher, who has been a messiah for orphans. Mary John Kurishinkal, lovingly called Mary Teacher and Teacher Amma by many, is murdered on the street at night by some professional murderers. A young boy accidentally shoots this on his handy cam.


Mary Teacher has been looking after lots of orphans, but she had brought up four such orphans as her own adopted sons. They are - Bilal, Eddie, Murugan and Bijo. While Eddie and Bijo live in Kochi itself, Murugan is a stunt-director in films and is always traveling. Bilal, the eldest, had left Kochi a couple of years back after being involved in a stabbing incident, following which Mary Teacher had refused to let him enter the house.


Bilal had landed up in Mumbai and had been working as a bodyguard. Murugan and Bilal rush to Kochi. Bilal is determined that those behind the murder should be traced out. Meanwhile the Police, led by Assistant Commissioner Balaji Shakthivel and assisted by C.I. George, too are probing the case. Bilal uses his own resources and begins his hunt, with assistance from Eddie, Murugan and Bijo. Eddie, who has a wife and children, is often reluctant and does not cooperate fully with the hunt for the murderers. Bilal, Murugan and Bijo however just move on, cracking professional criminals, using their links in the underworld, especially since Bilal had been a dreaded name earlier in the city. And their hunt takes them to some surprising revelations.


Mammootty is simply marvelous as Bilal, the central character and delivers a very controlled and spectacular performance. Nafisa Ali, who plays Mary Teacher, is impressive. Manoj K. Jayan as Eddie, Bala as Murugan and Sumit Naval as Bijo render able support. Tamil actor Pasupathi does the role of Balaji Shakthivel with élan, while Vijayaraghavan is his usual self as George. Hindi actor Sherveer Vakil as the villainous Sayippu Tony and debutante Ramesh as the crooked Mayor fit perfectly into their roles. Mamta as Rimi, who is Murugan's love, is good while Manasa as Gowri, the daughter of Dr. Venu, Mary Teacher's neighbour and well-wisher (played by Manianpilla Raju), has nothing much to do. Lena as Eddie's wife Celina is OK. Innocent provides some comedy in the couple of scenes in which he appears, playing the role of Rimi's father.


Technically Big B is no doubt a class apart from usual Malayalam movies. Excellent cinematography by Sameer Thahir and fast cuts by Editor Vivek Harshan deserve special mention. The background score, which perfectly suits the mood of the film, too deserves mention. Screenplay by Amal Neerad, based on story by Amal himself and dialogues penned by R.Unni have been handled well. Art-work by Joseph Nellickal and well-choreographed stunt scenes directed by Anal Arasu, are among the highlights of the film.


All this was of course expected from Big B, given the fact that Amal Neerad, who had earlier cranked the camera for the Malayalam film Black (directed by Ranjith and starring Mammootty in lead role), had been groomed under Ram Gopal Verma in films like James, Darna Zaroori Hai and Shiva. And Big B definitely has some kind of a RGV stamp upon it. The scene in which ACP Balaji Shakthivel is shot dead, which comes totally unexpectedly and abruptly, reminds one of the scene in which the Police Officer in RGV's Satya, played by Anupam Kher, is shot dead.


But the problem with the film is that though you remain engrossed in the film while you are in the theatre, you d

While <i>Big B</i> is a very different film compared to any other Malayalam film and sparkles with technical brilliance, good acting, a well-written script etc, there are of course shortcomings too that mar the totality of the film in many ways. (3) - Unni Nair


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