Chattambi Nadu Review
Shafi has been a lucky director all this while. He has had it all, Megastar dates, rollicking scripts, and mostly super duper hits, except a sour Lollypop perhaps. But this time I would say he has stretched his chances beyond limits and blown it up into bits. For his latest Chattambinaadu, is nothing more than witless banter, cashing in on star power and little caring for anything else.
A Chattambi from Karnataka, Veerendra Mallayya (Mammootty) lands up in Chattambinaadu to buy a mansion, caring two hoots for the threats issued by Kattupalli Nagendran (Siddiq). The scuffle that ensues between the two is no ordinary one, since both of them have been the uncrowned kings of their respective provinces for long.
The winter entertainment needs you to keep your eyes far off the story though. The source material that it banks on cannot be attributed to any one particular film of the past. Rather, it's a thorough mishmash of several potboilers that have had their day long back.
Even as some films remain formulaic to the core, attempts are made to rework the done to death blueprint. Shafi does nothing of the sort, and moves right ahead along the beaten path and ensures that his film is a harmless time-killer. Maybe the film is less ambitious as well in that it has set its targets real low. Which is why it never takes itself too seriously, and is content being a re-run.
The one thing that you will have to repeatedly push down while watching the film is the feeling that you have seen this all before. Bearing in mind the talents involved, it's really a shame, and Benny's script looks like it has just emerged out of a sugarcane crusher with all the sap squeezed out. There is nothing that it has created on its own, and the washout plot is a letdown on all counts.
Ask me if the film doesn't have a few undeniable laughs, and I wouldn't say it hasn't. There is Suraj around as the local thug Dasamoolam who brings the house down with his incomparable antics and Salim Kumar as Makri Gopalan who retains the tempo with his rib tickling one liners. There isn't any shortage of laughter hence, and if being funny is the main goal of the film, perhaps it scores as well.
If you still have your doubts if a dashing Mammootty hasn't saved the day, you could head straight for the cinema hall near you. For he is the only reason why you should be in there to watch Chattambinaadu. Clad in sparkling white and sporting a drop-dead sexy stubble, the man looks chiseled to perfection. He mouths abuse in Kannada, and sometimes matches them up with crackling Malayalam equivalents. I wouldn't blame Shafi for believing that the magnetism of its lead actor could save the film.
Chattambinaadu is certainly not a film that you should expect to transform the world. Just sit back, relax and hang around for the laughs. Or head straight for the park and get some fresh air instead.
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