After all the controversy, open feuds that took centre stage in the media, bans on releases and directors, and grudge matches between the powerhouses in the industry, B Unnikrishnan’s Mr Fraud is out and how does it fare given the hype? Read on…
It’s a heist movie – simple as that. No curveballs here folks, it’s an intended (by the director) cerebral game between the man in the black hat (the fraudster) and a few other characters in pursuit of the same ‘treasure’ with some colorful back stories and innocent, and some not so innocent, bystanders thrown in to the mix.
The wealth of an old royal family has been under lock and key for some time, with generations of heirs now waging legal battles for its ownership after a semi – interesting event that happened 41 years ago.
With the day of the big decision soon approaching, enters the robber with no name and no clear back ground to swipe the prize right from under everyone’s nose… at the behest of ‘someone’ else. Yes there are a few other angles in there but don’t hold your breath, they’re about as interesting as everything else in the flick.
Performances and technical aspects:
Mohanlal gives his stellar performance as always in spite of the clearly lack luster dialogues and badly crafted screenplay. Other performances to be commended were without a doubt those of Siddique’s and Saikumar’s – both veterans in the industry and this movie is a clear example of why.
Of course, not everyone can manage a bad script and formulaic direction and Dev Singh Gill proved it by and far with a notably one dimensional portrayal of the bad guy with a range of facial expressions that went all the way from about 0 to about 0.5.
Going in to the technical stuff, let’s start with the camera because it’s one of the few interesting features in the movie apart from the over abundance of CGI and effects that serve the purpose of making the movie ‘look’ like a Hollywood production while carefully maintaining the lack of imagination in the actual plot.
The camera work has been executed well and compliments the narrative and overall tone with a few flashy experiments and good use of slow mo and close ups, along with low angles, for the fight and song scenes.
The fight scenes (the plural meaning two) are well choreographed and give the actors, especially Mohanlal, and the technical crew a chance to show their skills, much to the delight of the otherwise dull viewership.
Gopi Sunder’s music is experimental but effective and his cameo is another added feature in the film, both brought down by the flawed sound mixing which makes it almost look like the actors are lip syncing on a stage show. A true tragedy, considering some of the songs, and the fact that Mohanlal is a master at conveying deep and verbally complicated on screen singing.
Props to the CGI and effects team for doing their job well – at least obvious visual trickery was not a burden the fans had to bear in this one.
Hawk Eye Analysis:
B Unnikrishnan is a one note director. Like his previous attempts at action thrillers and suspense dramas, this one too fails in eliciting any emotion from the audience for any character or part in the movie, apart from the occasional applause for a ‘clever’ one liner or a gruesome spectacle. Apparently, he himself seems aware of this, as he tries multiple times, throughout the movie, to cash in on the ‘Mohanlal brand’ for a few easy laughs and cheers.
How the movie, which has the usual action scenes, death scenes, your everyday thugs and killers, a tragic sexual assault scenario of a minor and a couple of not so subtle double entendre dialogues, managed to get a clean U certificate is a perplexing fact.
The movie while not a particularly frustrating or annoying spectacle also fails to excite or surprise the audience; instead it kind of just plays out as evenly as possible.
This one is not a family entertainer you want to rush to the first week, or the second for that matter, unless you’re a hardcore Mohanlal fan or a diehard B Unnikrishnan admirer.
Predictable, mechanical and lukewarm – something you usually wait to see on the television on a slow Sunday afternoon or at bargain price from the DVD store.