I cant remember watching a movie in the first week of release in the recent past, and I was in theater watching Mulla on the third day after its release. One of the reasons being no Malayalam movie releases on the same day in Chennai as it does in Kerala. Me and my friend traveled all the way from Saidapet to Sangam theater in the evening traffic to get the tickets for fear of not getting them before the show. And then we travelled again for the second show, quite leisurely this time, to reach there ten minutes after the movie started!
The opening sequence which I saw was the one where Dileep and gang does a fight sequence in a train compartment followed by a narration to the heroine and the audience about the life and whereabouts of Mulla. The film then goes on till the next fight sequence again in train, at the end of which Dileep takes a baby abandoned in the compartment and gives it to the heroin. Till this time; first half of the first half, there is no clue as to where the story is leading. Most of the scenes involve either introduction to characters or a comedy sequence or a song just for the sake of a song. The baby could be the lead to the main story, so did I think!
The scenes there after tries to connect the hero and heroine through the baby and some songs, but there are rarely any situation when you actually feel any connection!. And so when you were awaiting for the story to take off, Bhavana alights from a train. Keeping your expectations high, the film goes on to interval. The most helpful scenes of the movie arrive post interval, they give you clear clues to limit your expectations. There is absolutely nothing new as the film concludes and you almost guess the climax beforehand.
I was actually frustrated because I could not understand what Lal Jose saw new in the whole plot? Attempting a new idea and the end product becoming dud is unavoidable. But just the thought of giving his ailing good actor friend Dileep another hit should not have been the sole motive to direct a movie. And how can he make the Meesamadhavan team repeat the same success without a new story, scenes or a script. I admire Lal Jose for his ability to spot talent and the courage to give opportunity to them, Bijibal and Anil Panachooran were his discovery through Arabikatha. So how could he go wrong with Sindhuraj when there were already examples of his work like Megasandesam and Jalolsavam before him? Again, did Lal Jose keep his logic aside for his friend?
Mulla will not be a flop, but neither will it be a big hit either. I hope Lal Jose to do better justice to himself when he decides to do films in future. There is no argument about his dedication to the job, if only the caucus allowed him to do his best. Let's expect more!