Mulla Malayalam Movie Review
Janapriya Nayakan - that's how fans have been calling Dileep for quite some time and some of his fans did turn up wearing T-shirts that had the slogan printed on them at the opening show of his latest film Mulla. Dileep has not had a movie which could pull in the crowds for quite some time. But with Mulla he seems to have done the trick. Or has he? Even though the film is not extraordinary in any way and falls short of what was expected from a Dileep-Lal Jose tie-up, it still is a much better effort than most of his recent releases.
Though Mulla is a Lal-Jose film, it is also a team effort. Dileep puts in a fairly good performance in the lead as Mulla, a goonda living in a colony that is home to the dregs of society. This colony always has three main rowdies who go out for contract killings and other nefarious activities. If one of these gets killed another from colony takes his place, but no one from colony goes to even claim the dead body, so the police never enter this place.
The current leader of the gang is Ambi Annan (Biju Menon) and Mulla is being groomed to be his successor. Mulla now handles the petty assignments. Ambi's wife (Reema Basheer), who is called akka by all, is a good family woman. The people of the colony usually travel by train, and when the train passes near the colony, they pull the emergency chain, thus making it an unauthorized station.
Mulla has been named after his mother, who had come to the colony years ago and came to be called Mulla because of the jasmine flower that she used to wear on her hair. Anyway, the story takes a turn with Mulla handing over an abandoned child to one Lachchi (Meera Nandan). The two get attached to the child, and this slowly leads to their falling in love and to Mulla's transformation.
Dileep is good as Mulla, but the problem is that he doesn't have too many dialogues to deliver. It should be remembered that it is as much through his dialogue delivery as through his histrionics that Dileep has always succeeded in winning over his audience. Apart from Dileep, Meera Nandan too has done a fairly good job in portraying the character of Lachchi. All the others in the cast like Biju Menon, Salim Kumar, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Mala Aravindan, Suraaj Venjaramoodu etc have also done a good job. Bhavana's guest comic appearance is good and lively.
Vipin Mohan has captured the essence of the movie with adept camerawork. The screenplay and dialogues too are good. Packed with some good performances, well-defined characters, and beautiful songs with interesting pasteurization, Mulla should have been a hit. But the film hasn't much box office appeal and may not do that well as there is something seriously wrong with the narrative. Somewhere along the line, the tempo of the film is lost, and this makes it different from the good films Lal Jose has made. But Lal has done some worse ones too - like Pattalam and Rasikan.
To sum up, Mulla is not that good when seen as a film that comes from the maker of Arabikatha, Achanurangaatha Veedu and Classmates. But when compared to most of Dileep's recent films, it's certainly better. The film's fortunes at the box office will depend to a great extent on the other films that are to be released this season. If they do good business, it is very likely that Mulla will fail to rake in the moolah.