The King & The Commissioner Review
In Shaji Kailas' 'The King and the Commissioner', Joseph Alex IAS (Mammootty) and Bharath Chandran IPS (Suresh Gopi) have shifted base to Delhi and jointly take on a Pak militant group that is determined to assassinate the Indian Prime Minister (Mohan Agashe) at any cost. The enemy finds support in the Godman Chandramowlishwar (Saikumar) and the bureaucrat Raman Madhavan (Jayan), and Joseph and Sharath get down to their task without further delay.
That pretty much nothing has changed in the way films as these are crafted is true. The sequel to two of the biggest hits the nineties had seen remains faithfully similar to its predecessors. The most important question that would emerge in a scenario as this is whether there still remains an audience for a political potboiler as this film that cashes in mainly on its dialogues to deliver.
The dialogues are there in abundance, and the protagonists profusely make use of Malayalam, English and Hindi to convey their sense, sensibility and sensitivity to the hilt. They have the fire in them as well, but the much used verbal fireworks formula do not always leave an impression; especially in times when cinema is changing for the good, and that too by the day.
I was surprised at someone telling me though, that they had expected something more from the King and the Commissioner. Perhaps my disappointments in the film are minimal, because contrary to the person I just mentioned, this is exactly what I had expected the officers to do this time. Thankfully no surprises hence, and no shocks either for me.
But what I did expect was that almost a couple of decades later, they must have become a bit mellowed. I was hoping against hope that Joseph Alex would have quit running his fingers through the back of his head, since maturity does come with age. Well, no such luck anyhow!
My pick among the scenes that arrested my attention in the film would be Joseph's confrontation with the Prime Minister himself in which he admits that he is much more concerned about the grave losses that the nation's treasury would incur in case the PM is assassinated, than anything else. A bold statement by any standards, its one of the few occasions in the film where perhaps a national sentiment is voiced.
Mamootty and Suresh Gopi are quite at ease with themselves, playing the two characters that they had once played to perfection. Joseph Alex is as suave and stylish as ever, and Bharath Chandran the firebrand that he always has been. And it's thanks to these actors that the three hours flow by like a sultry breeze.
'The King and the Commissioner' does try to make up for its very serious loss of a sense of intrigue by going in for those flashy cuts and chic looks. The blood, bullets and the bombs are there in abundance, and irrespective of the box-office status of this film, I seriously think its time for these officers to move on.
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