Mulla Malayalam Movie Review
Lal Jose's Mulla is a train that terribly goes off rails on a bridge and sinks deep down without a trace. A keen hunt for a few respites amidst the wreckage turns out to be futile, as Mulla tells a tale that's as fusty as yesteryear's bread.
Mulla (Dilip) was named after his mother; a nameless hooker merely known by her warm smile and the fresh fragrance of jasmine on her hair. When she throws herself before a speeding train, Mulla grows up as an orphan, alone, to be a local thug on the parched sands of the Karakkad slum. As he runs into an abandoned child and Latchi (Meera Nandan), a young girl striving to overpower the turbulent tides of life on her own, he mends his nasty ways and learns to march to the beats of a different drum. Destiny though, has other plans in store.
Mulla is a film that stumbles early and never really picks up. It's dazed and confused and falls flat in its efforts to be the least absorbing. Sindhuraj's script has not much of a story to occupy the running time and by the end there is neither a conflict nor an agreeable dénouement. The set-ups are simply too outrageous and backbreaking to sit through. The plotting is clumsy and never rises above a self-imposed blandness. The characters are never really clearly defined nor is there a reason for us to care about them.
Dileep as Mulla, does nothing less of a fair job and nothing more. The solid hair-cut is all striking, but he is shaken up by a flood of pointless events and seems all bewildered. He finds himself in an unenviable position when he has to use nearly every acting trick in his armory to distract us from a plot that's as fragile and frail as a house of cards. Debutante Meera Nandan, looks pretty as a portrait, despite being oddly made-up and ridiculously clad. She appears at times slightly jumpy, and at others distinctly uncomfortable. Biju Menon makes a reappearance in an outlandish wig and Bhavana resurfaces in one of the worst cameos ever.
Vidyasagar saves his face in an otherwise disappointing album with a solitary Kannin Vathil; a lilting lullaby all set to be a chartbuster. And Vipin Mohan is back with a biggie bang; his terrific camerawork is one of the few redeeming features in this film that's plodding and quite wanting in reason.
It feels impossible to believe that the film comes from the much-admired director of Classmates and Achanurangatha Veedu. This is indeed a mighty fall, and the effects quite detrimental and traumatic. For it is truly inconceivable even if you overlook that carcass of a script, that the film lacks an essential sense of direction.
Disfigured by a hollow script, winding performances and sullen direction Mulla is a big-time debacle and a colossal downer. Be the least amazed if you walk out of it wondering what hit you in your deep slumber!