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Mohanlal’s Snehaveedu – Movie Review

After a few years Mohanlal is back to an author backed role in the genre that he does the best. yes....... In the new Sathyan Anthikkad movie 'Sneha Veedu' the biggest highlight is, as expected , the immensely likable Ajayan played to perfection by Mohanlal with multitude of 'lalisms' sprinkled all over. With immaculate timing and one-liners, the actor in his full form shoulders the task to propel the movie much of the time, though the finale appear a little bit strained and premature with the actors having little control over the proceedings.

Echoing the recent Salimkumar statement about Sathyan films as different buses travelling on the same route, this too his its share of village caricaturistic characters, which are increasingly becoming difficult to find in real life. Soaked in light humour with an undercurrent of emotions, the films made by Sathyan are bench marks of rustic life of commoners, inspiring the other film-makers in the circuit as well to follow. From the toddy chopper Manian to the Karinkkannan Mathai who has a arsenic tongue (Innocent), Sathyan has placed his story of Ajayan amidst all the village virtues.

Ajayan who had been away for long working at various firms in Chennai, Mumbai and Middle East is now back to spend his life with his aged mother Ammukuttyamma(Sheela). He has bought a big mansion, some acres of farmland and is trying to set in a new life with all the nostalgia of his growing up years. He starts a company for producing agricultural equipments and also earns his living as a farmer. He is supported in all his endeavours by his pals including S I Balachandran, Manian and Sunandha . As Ajayan starts to enjoy his life, arrives the twists in tale in the form of Karthick (Rahul Pillai),a 16 year old young boy from Chennai, who claims to be the son of Ajayan. With some of the proof that the boy brings with him, Ajayan is forced to give him a shelter in his own household. Though Ajayan, who is still unmarried at his forties, denies of such an illegal son, none including his mother believes in him. The movie follows the twists and turns that occur in Ajayan's life and his attempts to bring out the truth.

Sathyan, as a director, has handled much of the sequences with aplomb, laced with interesting performances. The emotional scenes, particularly of Mathai's family strike a chord and almost all the light moments succeed in bringing a smile on your faces, fortunately without resorting to any sort of double entendres. But as the writer of the film, he comes up with an archaic plot, lacks the twists and turns to increase your anxiety levels, ending up in a predictable, monotonous movie. The biggest flaw is the defects in its superficial climax- leads which are too bizarre and confused. (look for one flashback supposedly to be of the 'nineties', where you are even shown the characters strolling around the brand new cars on the road).

The other low point of the movie is its music department and songs which act as speed breakers. Though strictly okay, they are not too melodious as the customary Ilayaraja numbers. The BG Scores are indeed pathetic, denying much of the merits of the director's work in visualising the plot. It is high time Sathyan switches on to a novel crew, at least in the music department. Dialogues are the high point of the enterprise. In fact, a few one-liners delivered in characteristic style( like the ''Poomppatta...Paraganam"'....)have the required punch to remind you of the vintage 'Mohanlal 'who used to provide you with fun unlimited. Editing is loose and the editor could've trimmed the film prudently for a better impact.

It's the performances that are the saving grace of the film. The right set of actors who have a terrific timing to tickle your funny bone is the biggest asset of the movie .Leading the way is Mohanlal, who's simply brilliant and a treat to watch, suddenly regaining his charisma of nineties, effortlessly rendering the lighter acts .Biju menon comes up with another superb performance, essaying his part with utmost sincerity. The debutante Rahul pillai as Karthick, Padmapriya as Sunandha and the other gang of Sathyan regulars are alright. Cinematography by Venu is of standard.

On the whole, 'Sneha veedu' is packed with all the signature elements of Sathyan Anthikkad that the families of Kerala admire, but a more cohesive script and convincing climax complemented by hit music should have made this a winner. Fortunately, the film has opened to encouraging responses and keeping the weak aspects in mind, Antony Perumbavoor will need to do a little extra work, to continue the director's winning streak at the Box Office..

Story

Ajay (Mohanlal) decides to return to his home in Palakkad after having worked for a long time in the Gulf and in Chennai. Ajay is a likeable chronic bachelor and wants to spend the rest of his life with his mother Ammukkutty Amma (Sheela) in his home town.

The plot moves side by side with other characters that are subsequently introduced in the first half. There is Karimkannan Mathai (Innocent) and his wife (KPAC Lalitha) who is not yet ready to forgive their daughter (Lena) for eloping with sub inspector Balan (Biju Menon). Then there is Sunanda (Padmapriya), who works in a soap manufacturing unit.

All goes fine until one fine day a teenager named Karthik (Rahul Pillai) comes from Chennai to the calm and quiet place, claiming to be Ajay's son. The boy soon gets close to Ammukkutty Amma while Ajay desperately tries to prove that Karthik is not his son.

Now, who actually is Karthik? That is what the the climax unfolds.

Performances

Mohanlal's comic time is excellent and gives you ample reasons to laugh. As always, Mohanlal essays his role with perfect ease. His emotional scenes with Sheela is outstanding.

Sheela as always is superb. Debutant Rahul Pillai is a promising actor and does his part well. All other actors have done a decent job.

Sathyan Anthikkad has made great films in the past – Manassinakkare, Achuvinte Amma and Bhagyadevatha. However, Snehaveedu fails terribly. Overall, Snehaveedu is just an ordinary fare.

Cast: Mohanlal, Sheela, Padmapriya, Rahul Pillai (Introducing), Biju Menon, Innocent, Mamukoya, KPAC Lalita, Chembil Asokan, Kalinga Sasi, Praveen, Mallika, Lena, Arundhathi, Urmila Unni, etc.
Director & Writer: Sathyan Anthikad
Producer: Antony Perumbavoor (Aashirvad Films)

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