Phantom Pailey (2002)- Mammotty, Innocent, Nishant Sagar

Overall: 3 out of 5

Mammooty is back as action hero in Phantom Pailey.No two ways about it, debutant Biju Varkey has come out with a decent entertainer. The camera work of the other debutant Biju Viswanathan is eye catching especially the way he has captured the lush green Munnar valley.

The story is set in a hill town where landslips and earthquakes are quiet common. The villagers are used to these natural calamities and following their complaint, to prevent such frequent earthquakes Government puts a court order that quarry work should be stopped immediately. The contractor who mints money out of the quarry, Annachi (Manivannan) and his people are at loggerheads with the local people who are led by Gandhi Pillai (Nedumudi Venu) and the Church priest (Innocent). Josekutty (Nishant Sagar) is a budding artiste and he is in love with Pillai’s niece Hema. When Jose goes to Hyderabad for a competition, his elder brother Pailey (Mammootty) comes to the town from Mumbai to get him married to Hema. Pailey, is a stunt or a dupe for Bollywood actors and due to his daredevil fights, he is known as Phantom (!). In no time he wins over the villagers and cross swords with the baddies! Soon Annachi brings a corrupt Police officer Sebastin (Manoj.K.Jayan), who is a sadist and a lawbreaker who is a constant nuisance for the villagers and Pailey is his main target. With the help of Annachi, Sebastin murders Josekutty and then it is pay back time for Phantom Pailey.

Mammootty is a sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger- One Man Army, who cleans up a village. Surprisingly he has done a decent job and even his comedy scenes are enjoyable. Innocent as the priest, Cochin Haneefa, Bindu Panickkar and Lalu Alex are great in comedy scenes.The heroine, Malavika has very little to do with hardly three scenes. Manoj K.Jayan as the clean-shaven villain police officer is a revelation. Songs tuned by Deva are a big let down. On the whole, till interval the film is fast paced but the second half is a bit dragging and has a contrived climax, which lessens the tempo.

Directed by Biju Varkey
Music by Deva
Lyrics by Girish Putenchery
Songs Sung by Yesudas, Chithra, Sujatha, Madhu Balakrishanan, Jayachandran, SPB etc...

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