Rock n Roll Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2007
Nov 19, 2007 By Unni Nair

If Rock 'n' Roll had come from some rather new or low-profile director and with some other artist in the lead role, it could at least have been considered passable fare. But since it is directed by Ranjith and has Mohanlal in lead role (along with an array of other high-profile stars), Rock n' Roll was expected to rock and that's exactly what it fails to do. The film is simply unimpressive, because it has got nothing to offer at all.

Rock 'n' Roll is set in Chennai, and revolves around a bunch of characters who are all associated with film music. The protagonist is Chandramouli, a drummer of international repute, who is always busy and has been abroad for years. His friends, all of whom are based in Chennai, share a kind of rapport that has evolved out of friendship which had started in their initial days of struggle. Prominent among them music directors Gunashekharan and Viswanathan, violinist and conductor Isaac, his wife Nirmala who is also a lyricist and who has left Isaac with their only son and is living separately, tabla player Balu, keyboard player Henry and choreographer Meenakshi.

It's when director Lal Jose (Lal Jose himself in a cameo) wants to get a tune composed by Gunashekharan that Guna, who wants to do something exceptional, thinks of bringing in Chandramouli. He succeeds in tracing him down. Chandramouli is in Mumbai, on a visit and is all set to fly to Cape Town. At Guna's request Mouli flies to Chennai and agrees to play the drums for him. The music is composed and it is in between that Mouli chances to meet Daya Sreenivas, a young, upcoming singer based in Mumbai.

Chandramouli is cynic who doesn't believe in things like love, and sees women merely as things to satisfy his physical desires. But with the entry of Daya things change. He is smitten by the love bug and from here the story takes off.

Mohanlal is good as Chandramouli, but the character definitely doesn't give much scope for outstanding performance. However, the ease with which he gets under the skin of the character is something to be mentioned. The style, the mannerisms, the gait - everything is OK, but still the performance is short of being exceptional. This is something that the writer (here the director Ranjith himself) should have taken care of.

Siddique as Guna, Mukesh as Viswanathan, Rahman as Henry, Lal as Isaac, Rohini as Nirmala and Shwetha Menon as Meenakshi don't have anything much to do, for the film and its story is centred on Mohanlal's Chandramouli. Lakshmi Rai as Daya has an element of freshness, and performance-wise too she is good. Manoj K. Jayan as Saidapet Giri, who had come to Chennai aspiring to be a singer and eventually ended up becoming a goonda, is good.

The scenes involving Suraaj Venjaramoodu elicit no laughter and are rather distasteful. If the director had put in Suraaj because of his popularity, he has failed in successfully cashing in on Suraaj's presence in the cast. Jagathy Sreekumar is his usual self as Khader Khan, Mouli's friend.

The main problem with the film is that it has nothing new to offer and the story is wafer thin. The presentation is logical and the frames have been composed well (courtesy cinematographer Manoj Pillai and art-director Sunil Babu), but the film leaves much to be desired. The script is loose, and the characterization has gone terribly wrong. The way the characters of Guna, Viswanathan, Meenakshi, Isaac, Balu, Henry etc are presented in the initial reels makes us expect much out of them, but later they all fade into the background with the arrival of Mouli.

It has to be pointed out that some of the frames are rich and attractive, especially the ones in which the titles roll against the backdrop of the sea. But still, there are so many loose ends that the film fails to impress any class of viewers and thus would definitely end up being a wash out at the box office. The songs are passably good but won't stay in our memories for long.

Those who wish to

Unni Nair