Vande Matharam Review
In Vandemataram, Mammootty plays Gopikrishnan who has been assigned the task of cracking down a proposed terrorist operation in South India. Arjun plays his assistant Anwar and together they get down to some serious terrorist nabbing. Gopikrishnan and Anwar spend the first half of the film tracing phone calls and chasing people around highways. A few bombs explode here and there which I believe is expected to make the situation even more tense. Gopikrishnan runs after the invisible enemy while Anwar climbs buildings and jumps off unbelievable heights.
The investigation proceeds through incredibly weird situations that would have you blinking your eyes in disbelief. For instance, there is this whole lot of time spent on a bird sanctuary, where pelicans from across the world come to roost. The officers get all perked up when they realize that the terrorists have been using more 'natural' ways to communicate with each other.
Finally, they zero in on the one terrorist who has been planning it all. They manage to capture him, but aren't able to get a confession from him. The man remains tight lipped all the while, and then somebody murmurs that psychological treatment is the only form of inquiry left. And it does see some light when the man utters his daughter's name.
I couldn't for the life of me understand what Gopikrishnan was doing in front of a television screen watching video footage of the terrorist's daughter speaking to her mom. Did he actually have some cameras installed in that remote Pakistan village and keep them under surveillance?
As for the poor terrorist, he has a sob story to tell. He has a daughter who refuses to go to school because of a stammer. And what does the terrorist, who is a father first and a dreaded criminal second do? He promises her that he will return with all the money that is required to cure her of her disability.
The final fifteen minutes of the film that has plenty of real drama thrown is unbelievably mindless. The officers attempt to create a make-believe world for the criminal and lead him onto that very important declaration of guilt. Things soon get worse as the drama gets more and more implausible. Imagine a woman officer being sent into the cell of a hardcore terrorist without even as much as a soul or a security officer around!
Mammootty has absolutely nothing to do in this film except playing the commanding officer who just has to utter commands. Arjun puts in his share of a few daredevil stunts, but the script offers him nothing either. Sneha walks in and out of the film in a cameo that's barely impressive. The three songs in the film do not serve much purpose either. They are neither hummable nor aesthetically picturised.
Vandemataram obviously has been made on an exorbitant budget. The done to death patriotic theme receives no fresh makeover in the film. If only it had paid more attention to that feeble script instead of raking up all that clatter and clamor on screen, would it have made more sense.
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