An ordinary film-viewer who made it to the premiere of Aayudham was heard saying: "There's nothing new in it. Only the hero's name has changed". A naïve piece of criticism, but that sums up the new Suresh Gopi-starrer Aayudham. The film has all the ingredients you'd expect in a Suresh Gopi thriller, but without the hard-hitting dialogues and the fast paced action that make you sit glued to your seat.
Aayudham begins from where a group of criminals land at the peaceful Vilayam beach and engineer a blast there. The City Police Commissioner Mahendra Varma, in a bid to round off his duties, first arrests whomever he can lay hands on and then zeroes in on Anwar, the son of Abdullah Mukri. Anwar is arrested from Chennai on the basis of a call from his mobile, made to one of the terrorists, who drops the device at the blast site.
The state Chief Minister is convinced that the investigation is not proceeding in the right direction and decides to bring in the Crime Branch to conduct the probe. Acting on the advice of the Chief Secretary, he puts Hrishikesh IPS, the Crime Branch DIG, in charge of the investigation. After securing the assurance of the Chief Minister that there will not be any political interference, Hrishikesh ropes in the services of two Police Officers - Hamza and Rappai. As the investigation progresses, the plot behind the blast slowly unfolds.
Though Suresh Gopi does the role of Hrishikesh in his typical style, there seems to be something missing in his performance. Perhaps it's because the dialogues penned by S.L. Puram Jayasoma lack the kind of punch that's expected out of them. Or perhaps it's because we have grown used to seeing such kinds of characters again and again.
Bala as Anwar, Adityan as Mahendra Varma, Murali as Abdullah Mukri, and the rest of the cast, including Jagathy Sreekumar, Rajan P. Dev, Saadique, Nishant Sagar, Baburaj, Mohanraj, Shammi Thilakan, Sudheesh and Sivaji Guruvayoor have done justice to their respective characters. Thilakan has attempted to imitate the present Chief Minister quite convincingly. Madhu, Seema, Jaffer Idukki, Ashokan etc haven't got much to perform in the film. The two young heroines, Bharathi and Karthika, too don't have anything impressive to do.
Technical aspects like cinematography and art-direction are in sync with the mood while editing could have been better. The two songs could have been avoided, but the film, which is just over two hours in duration, would have been too short by Indian standards without the songs. The story is told quite convincingly, and one cannot find too many faults with the acting, but still the film lacks appeal.
Anyway, it's good to see that M.A. Nishad, whose earlier ventures Pakal and Nagaram had failed to evoke any response at the box-office, is bettering himself, though he still has miles to go.
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