Banner : Creative Team Productions
Director : S.L. Jayasurya
Producer : K. K. Narayanan
Music Director : Ouseppachan
Lyricist : Subhash and Saseendra Varma
Review by : Unni / www.Kerala9.com
Someone told me, after seeing ‘Angel John’, that the problem was with the story, the concept of the angel coming to help the young chap. But that seemed no problem at all for me. There was nothing wrong with the story, the concept. But it was the scripting, the direction, the over-all treatment and the packaging that has gone all wrong, eventually making ‘Angel John’ a mess of a movie.
The plot of ‘Angel John’ is simple. A spoilt youngster Maradonna (Shanthanu Bhagyaraj), who never pays heeds to the words of his father Joseph (Laloo Aalex) and whose mother Mary (Ambika) pampers him like anything, creates all kinds of troubles for his loving parents. And then one day, when things cross all reasonable limits and Joseph ends up in the hospital following a minor heart attack, all because of Maradonna, Mary gets irked and asks him to get lost. Maradonna gets drunk and climbs on to a lighthouse, all decided to end his life. As he gets ready to take plunge to death, there appears an angel, who introduces himself as Angel John (Mohanlal), who not only saves the young chap from committing suicide, but gets ready to give him two choices. He tells Maradonna that he is destined to live a normal life till the age of 66, with all the fortunes and woes that are part of human life. But at the same time, he is ready to give him a life of happiness alone, sans all woes, but he would be able to live only one-third of what is destined for him. So, if he chooses the second option, he will have to bid adieu to the world at the age of 22. Maradonna chooses the second option and wants to live a life of joys and blessings till the age of 22. So, the angel, Angel John, stays with Maradonna, all set to grant his wishes. (Hey, does that remind you of Dr. Faustus and Mephistopheles?). What follows forms the rest of the plot.
Till half-time ‘Angel John’ goes on, like a mediocre flick that can be tolerated; and then, just before interval, as the angel comes in, things start getting out of control. It all seems ridiculous and rather poorly executed. Even ardent fans, who give out a loud applause as the superstar makes his entry, tend to stand up and boo loudly the very next minute. And post-interval, it all turns into a dull affair, with people even getting impatient and some even on the verge of murmurs and yawns. The climax, which is treated shoddily, kills it all.
Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, who makes his debut in Malayalam playing Maradonna, is just about OK with the role and doesn’t do anything spectacular. Mohanlal seems to be doing the angel part in a rather detached and disinterested manner, for there seems to be something rather cold, rather uncomfortable about his performance. The others in the cast- Laloo Aalex, Ambika, Jagathy Sreekumar, Vijayaraghavan etc are all just so so. Nithya Menon impresses us as Sophie, the girl next door to Maradonna whose heart is full of love for him.
Nothing in fact is there to mention about the technical aspects of ‘Angel John’. Of course the subject, if handled well, had enough scope for all kinds of technical brilliance, including graphic work, which however hasn’t been made use of. The talent of Ajayan Vincent, the cinematographer who gave us dazzling frames in ‘Bhramaram’, seems all wasted here in a ‘neither here neither there’ kind of film.
The background score by Ouseppachan is not bad, but the songs are very much unimpressive.
It’s the script and the dialogues that play the villain in ‘Angel John’. The scenes are conceived in the least convincing of manners. The problem is that even kids won’t like to suffer such a badly written movie these days.
S.L.Puram Jayasurya, the son of noted theatre-personality and scenarist, the late S.L.Puram Sadanandan, had made a rather impressive debut with ‘The Speed Track’. The film was rather well-made and that justified expectations about ‘Angel John’. But it seems Jayasurya had got carried away with the presence of a super-star and presumed that things would be OK and in place with Mohanlal playing the angel. He could have made it into an enjoyable movie if he had done it all in a better manner. Of course the film has messages to deliver, but the sad part of it all is that there are not many takers for the messages, as the poor turn-out at the box office at all centres indicate. The director has to take the blame, since the movie becomes rather insufferable and the messages thus remain undelivered. Poor show, Jayasurya. And better luck next time!
Overall verdict- Poor scripting and inept direction kills the fun.
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