The critical point that the makers of 'Collector' have missed out on, is that gone are the days when you could craft a film based on a central character, bestow some bureaucratic power on him, dig into some political issues, create a ruckus and keep the audience entertained.
Collector has Suresh Gopi playing the title role, and he is Avinash Verma in the film, the District Collector of Cochin. Assuming office, Verma has to take heads on several kingpins who rule the underworld of Cochin. Of these, Williams (Rajeev) the real estate mafia don proves to be a deadly opponent to the officer.
There are not many situations in the film, that you haven't seen in several other films that have been moulded on the same lines. As usual, there is an extremely benevolent leftist Chief Minister who goes out of his way to lend a hand to the smart officer in charge. In Collector, it is, for the umpteenth time, Janardhanan again donning the role of the CM.
The supporting characters lose no time in falling into a line and occupy either of the two sides in the battle. Along with the Collector, there is ACP Revathy and social activist Arundhati. The City Police Commissioner, along with a couple of corrupt ministers and officials rally behind Williams.
The strength is almost evenly distributed on both sides. For instance, to counter the feminine power on the Collector's side, we have the Lady Mayor along with Williams. And true to the spirit, the Collector has a doting mother at home, who at one point is forced to throw him out due to his excessive affinity towards his duty.
Its not a mere war of words that Anil C Menon has envisaged. There is a terror element thrown in for that extra effect. And these bad men are real mean in the film. They kill each other with a vengeance, and the battle soon gets real bloody.
Much chaos and confusion later, the dust finally settles down and justice is served. Truth and honesty is rewarded. And all is well with the world. Pretty good, except that the Collector reminds us of a King or a Commissioner. And its not a relieving thought that we might have to sit through the dare devil antics of lesser officers now, since all the higher ones have already been taken.
Suresh Gopi is quite comfortable playing the Collector. He is more like the Commissioner himself, minus the khaki uniform and the English dialogues. He does his job well, as he has already done a million times. Rajeev is quite good as well, as the cut throat villain.
Collector fits into the socio-political thriller genre in Malayalam films to the 'T'. The film tries to speak a lot, but the fact is that not many are in a mood to listen. For, we have seen it all.