Peruchazhi has been highly anticipated since the day it was announced and the clever (perhaps a bit over the top) marketing campaign and promotional tactics employed by the film’s makers succeeded in adding to the hype. Trains and railway stations too covered by posters and artwork of the movie? C’mon now!
After all that jazz, did the flick in fact deliver what it promised – a laugh riot with Mohanlal back at his comedic best? Time to put the movie under the microscope then..
Now, the movie begins with a warning or rather a suggestion to the viewers, intended as a precursor to the comedy, one supposes, but ends up being rather sensible – “Please put your mobile phones and your logic away.”
That right there should prepare you for the loose chain of events masquerading as a ‘plot’ in this film.
Jagannathan aka Peruchazhi (Mohanlal) is a political kingmaker with a heart of gold, but he holds no official positions of his own and spends his time playing around (quite literally) with his two cronies or sidekicks, Jabbar (Baburaj) and Varky (Aju). His only dream being to build a sports academy to nurture young talent in Kerala to international levels. Of course, he has everything but the money to bring this project to fruition.
Now we have a dire situation in the US political scene as candidate John Kory is losing his campaign for Governorship of California slowly but surely, and his campaign manager Sunny Kurishingal (Vijay Babu) is clutching at straws. In his desperation, at the advice of his wife, he calls an old friend back home – the PWD Minister of Kerala, Francis Kunjappan (Mukesh), to hire a consultant from ‘God’s Own Country’ to help with the campaign.
Francis though, fed up with Jagannathan and his success as a political guru, and fearful that good old Jaggu may replace him in the future, brokers the deal so that Jagannathan and his side kicks are sent to California.
And then we have a storyline which just jumps and leaps tirelessly from generic to boring to ridiculous to occasionally funny and then back to boring.
Oh, by the way, there is a love story crammed in there as well. Maybe the filmmakers thought the movie would be too testosterone filled otherwise… sigh.
Performances and Technical Aspects:
Well, what can one say about Mohanlal’s performance other than the fact that he is as many directors over the years have pointed out – a director’s actor. Sufficient to say, he did the job entrusted to him fairly well.
In fact, all the performances were stellar, especially Baburaj who shined as the crass and hilariously outspoken Jabbar. Vijay Babu, who is also one of the producers of the movie did his onscreen part justice too.
The question then becomes – where did it all go wrong then? One has no choice but to look to the director, who also co-wrote the story, but we’ll get to that later.
Arvind Krishna’s cinematography left nothing much to complain about. Especially some close ups and one visually exciting but logically insane scene involving the rescue of a child were perfectly handled.
Arrora’s music though was generic and hardly memorable or catchy, but in all fairness, the sheer volume of visual bru ha ha may have drowned some of it out.
Vivek Harshan’s editing too falls squarely in the category of ‘good enough’, with the rest of the technical aspects. The production values of the movie were definitely not lacking in any sense, which makes the whole experience and further recounting of it even sadder.
Hawk Eye Analysis:
This is a movie that makes you go “what… why?” as you exit the cinema hall, and we’re not talking about the plot alone.
This is one movie where the blame or rather the lions’ share of responsibility for the final product can be justifiably put on the shoulders of the director – Arun Vaidyanathan. The fact that he co-wrote the story makes it even more so.
The trend of capitalizing on the brand image and certain famous lines/personality of the superstar in a movie, to get a few loud cheers and a hesitant round of applause is not uncommon these days. But Peruchazhi takes the concept over the top and in to the wilderness.
The number of times Mohanlal’s previous films are referred to here, and also his own characteristics known to people like “he is not a comedian, but an actor who knows how to do comedy” etc… makes you wish you were watching some of his other movies where he did do that instead of this one.
It is a bad sign definitely when you see the frequency and volume of applause diminishing noticeably from the beginning of the movie as it nears the end. It is an even worse sign when you find yourself wishing the movie would just wrap things up soon.
By the way, the attempt at satire is more like a bad spoof of American vs Indian politics. If you’re even remotely familiar with American political culture or landscape you’ll cringe for sure at some of the scenes.
When the ‘loan shark/gangster’ who gets beaten up by Mohanlal is named Tony Soprano, is when you find yourself resisting the urge to slap your face to wake up from the surrealistic nightmare.
Is Peruchazhi all bad? No. There are moments of humour but unfortunately that is all there is. The plot and the dialogues fail at drawing you in from any other angle.
Is this a family movie you want to rush to? Well, you could but you might be disappointed. Instead one suggests watching some of Mohanlal’s countless other older movies referenced in this one.
Peruchazhi had a lot of promise and great potential but it fails on account of no cohesive direction and a weak script.
Save your money now and buy the DVD when it comes out if you’re a hardcore Mohanlal fan, or else you can catch it on TV in the near future..