Grand Master Malayalam Movie Review
B Unnikrishnan's 'Grand Master' does try hard to rise above the run-of-the-mill crime thrillers by having as its protagonist a once-firebrand cop who has fallen on evil days. Unfortunately we thereby have an enterprising leading character moving about on an all too familiar ground that's strewn with chestnuts.
Chadrasekhar (Mohanlal) is an officer who has assumed charge of the Metro Crime Stopper Cell, and who finds it extremely difficult to keep things in focus. The reason? He's a divorcee who gets to see his teenage daughter twice a week, and has had enough of living life alone. A reconciliation with wife Deepthi (Priyamani) seems out of question.
It's essentially a serial murder mystery that the film attempts to unfurl. But there are very few occasions when the script rises above the routine to delve into something drastically different. Yes, there is a psychopath on the lose, who challenges Chandrasekhar to figure out how he is gonna bump off one target after the other.
If you think of it, it's a taxing task to name the characters in the alphabetical order especially since the murderer has developed a tremendous liking for the alphabet book. I wouldn't say it has been exactly inspired by the 'The Alphabet Murders' (1965) because then we would have to say Chandrasekhar himself has been modeled on those many Hollywood cops with marriage troubles.
Like the Grand Master in 'Knight Moves' Chandrasekhar doesn't get accused of the murders himself. Instead he shakes off the lethargy and gets off from his table where he had playing chess for a long while now. For a change, he decides to take on a real adversary. There are plenty of cliches lying along the way as he goes ahead with the investigation.
It's all a matter of chance that Chandrasekhar chooses the one decisive letter from the heap; one that has been signed 'Z'. And when people start getting hacked according to the first letter of their names, you shudder for a moment thinking if it could be quite a long wait till one reaches the dreaded last letter.
It's quite difficult to script a whodunit these days, with the intelligence of the audience working overtime to figure out who the killer might be. No prizes for guessing the perpetrator of the crimes hence, and the only thing that's left for you to is to wait patiently for the motive to roll out.
Of course the worst part of it is the climax when they grab the least susceptible one from the crowd and build a story around to make it all seem logical. It's quite a long winding story and it just about stays fixed there, sticking out like an appendage.
The star does tower over the script at times, and 'Grand Master' is one such occasion. It has been a long, long time since we got to see Mohanlal play a role as effortlessly as he does in GM. Not forgetting to mention that he looks absolutely dashing with that streak of grey in his hair.
There is only one reason why you should watch 'Grand Master', which is Mohanlal. I do however agree that he's more than enough reason.
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