Producer– Ruby Vijayan, S L Vimal Kumar
Cast– Mohanlal, Kavya Madhavan, Manoj K Jayan, Meera Nandan, Saikumar, Krishnakumar, T G Ravi etc.
Written by– S. N. Swamy
Music– Ratheesh Vega
Cinematography Pradeep Nair
Editing by Syam Sasidharan
Review by:Unni R Nair (Kerala9.com )
It was the very first show, one that began at around 9.15 in the morning. The audience comprised mostly of fans- Mohanlal fans. There were others too. So, as usual, when Mohanlal was introduced, there was loud applause and cheering. But then, a few scenes later, when I got to hear the very same people booing, especially during a combination sequence of Mohanlal and Kavya Madhavan, I got the feel that everything was not going to be well with this Joshiy directed film. After the show and later during the day I discussed the film with people over the phone and also face-to-face. The responses were mostly negative and I could understand that neither Mohanlal fans nor others were impressed with ‘Lokpal’. One guy, a former student of mine, even exclaimed, “Dunno what has happened to Joshiy!”.
If you ask me my honest opinion about the film, I’d say I was not bored during the screening. But then, when I look back upon it now, I realize there was nothing worth remembering or liking in ‘Lokpal’. It was not at all worth the money I spent. I could as well have refrained from seeing the movie. I lose nothing that way…
Lokpal is a one-man army fighting against corruption. He is in fact Nandagopal (Mohanlal), who runs a restaurant and at times takes it upon himself to combat corruption. As Lokpal, who has genuine support from the public and whose real identity remains hidden from the people and the cops, he targets people who get great sums as bribe. He robs them of that money and then passes it on to those who really ‘deserve’ it. (Robinhood, eh?!). The District Superintendent of Police Vijayan (Manoj K Jayan), who himself has once been targeted by Lokpal, now has two sketches of Lokpal made, based on descriptions given by eye-witnesses. And then, one day when Vijayan goes to meet his wife Geetha (Kavya Madhavan) at the hospital where she works, he finds the Lokpal of his sketches there, talking with Geetha. (You got it right, our hero and the cop’s wife were lovers in the past!!). Vijayan pledges to nab Lokpal with all proof. Geetha, who has no love lost now for Nandagopal, disagrees with the ‘Lokpal ideology’. And there are a couple of other guys, baddies, played by Saikumar and Shammi Thilakan, who want Lokpal out of the way. So, what happens next? That’s what forms the plot of ‘Lokpal’….
Déjà vu feeling, right? Yes, we have seen it all before, in so many films. Joshiy himself had made a similar film, ‘Robinhood’. But that had the thrills and this one comes sans the thrills and the necessary frills too. The script plays foil and ‘Lokpal’ turns out to be unimpressive. Had it been a bit more loud and fast and with better characterization, ‘Lokpal’ would have been a good commercial outing, a treat for Joshiy fans and Mohanlal fans. But as such, ‘Lokpal’ is dry, cold, unimpressive and even a bit exhausting. Nothing much to say about the film, in fact.
Mohanlal is good; or let me say, he is not bad. It’s very rarely that we see the talented and natural actor come up with a ‘bad’ kind of performance. Kavya Madhavan’s character is ill-etched and that tells upon her performance as well. She is greeted with loud boos at times. None of the others in the cast have scope for performance; most of the characters are ill-etched and half-baked. The characters played by T G Ravi and Meera Nandan could have been developed and worked out well, but that has not been done. Similarly there are issues with the characters played by Manoj K Jayan and Saikumar. Shammi Thilakan gets noted as he gets to play a very different kind of character this time, one who talks with the Thiruvananthapuram slang. But he too fails to make an impact with his performance. In total, it’s just Mohanlal’s film and no-one’s else, on the performance side…
Nothing outstanding about the technical aspects. Cinematographer Pradeep Nair and art-director Joseph Nellickal have done their parts convincingly well.
The songs are unimpressive; the background score is good…
It’s the script, penned by veteran S N Swamy, that plays foil with the total fabric of ‘Lokpal’. Had the script been better; had the film had better characterization and better dialogues and had it been pacier than it now is, it would have been worth a watch or two. But the present script doesn’t work well and the film turns out to be a rather unimpressive one…
Director Joshiy is in control of things, as usual. A veteran with 35 years of filmmaking experience, Joshiy never falters on the direction side. But with a rather half-baked script at hand, even a veteran like him could do nothing, as regards ‘Lokpal’…
Verdict- Unimpressive, script plays foil. Watchable for the sake of Mohanlal…