The Train Review

I feel downcast after watching 'The Train', since a theme that had such tremendous potential has ended up the way I saw it on screen.

Jayaraj's new film in all likelihood could have turned out into a noteworthy piece, but the tattered script and its even more uninspiring implementation have ruined all its chances of winning the viewer hearts.

The jigsaw puzzle like structure that the film adopts talks of a day, way back in July 2006; the day, when a quiet but busy evening in Mumbai, was rocked by six bomb blasts on trains along the Western line of the suburban railway network.

'The Train' places on the game board a small crowd of unrelated characters, each one of whom is busy getting through the hectic day. There is Kedar Nath (Mammootty) an officer at the Anti Terrorist squad who is being repeatedly reprimanded by his senior officer to take a break from duty, and for once to enjoy a peaceful evening with his daughter whose birthday falls on the 11th of July.

The day is special for Karthik (Jayasurya), an aspiring singer who would finally leave for Chennai in the evening to meet up with his idol A R Rehman. Suhana (Sabitha Jayaraj) has a family waiting for her back home, hoping that she would bring the money for her grandpa to go on Hajj the next day. And there is a septuagenarian beset with Alzheimer's disease (Balaji), who has fled from the oldage home and is trying to find his way back to his son's place through the mystifying city.

And all of them would board the local trains, without ever knowing that the clock would stop ticking for them at six in the evening.

There could be any number of reasons for brushing this film off, and the slow paced manner in which the story unfolds, does play a major deterrent. We also know, that those couple of songs, even with the manner in which they have been integrated into the tale, simply should not be there. There is the script too that is a downer, and it has very few genuinely heart rending moments. The film is relatively short and has a running time of less than two hours, and a further twenty minutes could easily be trimmed out, that could have made it much crisper.

Let me also tell you about something that I really loved about this movie. There is something intrinsically exciting about the way in which all of us together make up a colossal pattern of life, where often we never even realize the existence of one another. We move about, brushing past one another without a second thought, never for a moment thinking of the bigger picture that we are instinctively a part of.

The songs by Sreenivas are truly melodious, but I wish they were used in some other film. A special word of appreciation is due to the men behind the splendid cinematography (Sinu Murukkumpuzha & Thanu Paalakh) as well.

'The Train' is a film that suffers seriously from careless crafting. That it gets derailed on account of a shabby execution of a significant premise is a shame, really.

I feel downcast after watching 'The Train', since a theme that had such tremendous potential has ended up the way I saw it on screen. Rating: 2 - Veeyen