Review : Chotta Mumbai

Chotta Mumbai
Anwar Rasheed
Sri Bhadra Pictures
Rahul Raj
Mohanlal, Sai Kumar, Bhavana, Kalabhavan Mani

Conviction can bring any formula to life, as proved by Anwar Rasheed in Chotta Mumbai. It is a mass formula movie made like a Bollywood late Manmohan Desai or closer home a typical Kollywood Rajnikanth or Vijay extravaganza. The cardinal rule of the game is not to look for logic or reason, just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Take a chill pill, and enjoy the amazing screen presence of Mohanlal, the one man entertainment troupe. Ranging through a wide field of comedy, action and son-father sentiments, the star shines in this outrageous masala dosa of an entertainer that will surely appeal to a broad spectrum of his fans.

The story is wafer thin and depends more on Anwar's presentation and Mohanlal's mass image, to work with the viewers. Vasco (Mohanlal) alias "Thalai"( that's is what Tamil mass hero Ajit, is also called by his fans!!) and his happy go-lucky gang of 'Padakkam' Basheer (Jagathy Sreekumar), Chandrappan(Sidique), Tommychan(Inderjeet) and Susheelan (Manikuttan) who are petty thieves and also acts as mercenaries in and around Fort Kochi, Mattancherry area. Thalai's father is Michael Asan (Sai Kumar), a well known wrestler who is also the moving spirit behind the Cochin carnival which takes place every year on New Year eve.

Thalai and his dad move around more like friends, but without Michael’s knowledge the son goes and pledges his house to raise funds for himself and his friends to get visa to go to Singapore. But the guy (Cochin Haneefa) who promised them employment disappears with the money! Meanwhile Thalai meets Latha (Bhavana), better known as 'Parakkum Latha’, as she is an autorikshaw driver and her father (Rajan.P.Dev) is a perpetual drunk. Thalai plays agony aunt to her, as she wants to run away with a bus conductor (Venjaranmoodu Sooraj), who turns out to be a pimp! Thalai who has pledged her auto's RC book, soon falls in love with her.

Meanwhile there is a bad police officer C.I Natesan (Kalabhavan Mani),and his brother(Vinayagan) who had killed a senior police officer( Vijayaraghavan) in public road, which was witnessed by Thalai, his father and Latha. Soon Natesan turns against Thalai and his gang, at the same time his father also falls out with him when the bank starts recovery proceedings. All this leads to the big bang climax at the Cochin carnival.

All said and seen, humour is Chotta Mumbai's biggest calling card. There are a couple of wacky scenes like Mohanlal getting drunk and going to Bhavana's house seeking her father’s approval. When he reaches there he finds Rajan.P.Dev already high, and they continue their merry drinking bout together! The father-son heart breaking bickering and bonding between Sai Kumar- Mohanlal is a scream. Bhavana as the dumb but talkative, 'Parakum Latha' has hardly any scope to perform.

Kalabhavan Mani as the villain is menacing, but it is Vijayakumari (actor Mukesh's mother) who comes as the villain's mentally ill mom, who raises the comedy bar. Sai Kumar, Jagathy, Siddique and Rajan.P.Dev are at their usual best.

The camera of Azagappan, keeps pace with the film, thanks to Donmax's fast cuts. There are four songs in the film tuned by new guy Rahul Raj, including a re-mix of the old favourite Chetti Kulangara….There is no real catchy number, the music could have been better especially the background score. The script of Benny P.Nayarambalam has full of local Fort Kochi slang’s.

What makes the film tick is Mohanlal's at the heart of this mad, mad, mad world with his impeccable sense of comic timing. Clearly he is at home playing this type of character- for him it is the equivalent of an old pair of Hawai slippers. If laughter is the best medicine then Anwar Rasheed has earned his stripes yet again.