Raavana Prabhu (2001)- Mohanlal, Vasundra Das, Jagathi

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

The curtain unfolds and the white screen comes to life with another tale of unabashed fantasy detached from the day to day realities of life- another Mohanlal film has begun weaving its intricate magic on the mesmerised audience. The viewers are transported to the land of their dreams; where Mohanlal, assisted by a host of parasites takes law into his own hands with rhetoric filled confrontations; where dancers led by Kashmira Shah entice the front benches with saucy lyrics set to frisky beats; where white sari clad Vasundhara Das, the current rage of south screen becomes wet revealing her contours in the heavy downpour showered by the film crew to provide us a voyeuristic skin show and all the good Samaritans are reunited to pose for a happy group photograph at the end. The curtain falls.

The hotshot scenarist Renjith has failed to impress the audience through his maiden directorial venture, even if it continues to draw large crowds because of the electrifying, mesmerising and high voltage presence of Mohanlal, now a golden goose of the film industry. Since the audience is fed up with this genre of films, it is high time Renjith stopped making such ludicrous and half-baked films, if he values his future as a filmmaker.

Has the Malayali finally fallen prey to the hero worship syndrome? Mohanlal is deified like MGR, NTR and Rajnikant, other idols in the neighbouring states. Now characters are created to suit the image and whims of Mohanlal without intending to explore the inherent potentials of this matinee idol whose trump card is versatility. This shows that the highly film literate Malayali who has not been swayed by the charm and power of film actors till now, have started worshipping screen Gods. When Mohanlal starts out on his dramatic monologues scripted with meticulous care, it is like a temple oracle screaming of divine retribution.

Those who remember Mohanlal's mind-blowing performance in 'Devasuram'
will perhaps be dissatisfied with his role in its sequel. The film is terribly disjointed in the first half, heaving ahead in staccato like movements. The phenomenal success of the film 'Devasuram' and the subsequent string of films made in the same mould prompted him to make a sequel. At present, there is no one in sight to challenge the hegemony of Karthikeyan as all villains are bashed up. But we can't heave a sigh of relief. Due to the dearth of villains, he may not stage a come back in the near future. The menace still remains unabated because we cannot rule out two possibilities- Karthikeyan's son may closely follow the footsteps of his grand father and the audience craving for this ludicrous stuff will definitely have children with their traits. However, the debutant director Renjith will be forced to stop making films when he has to accept the fact that the synonyms for Lord Siva do not remain anymore and almost all of it has already been used to name the larger than life hero.

Directed by Renjith
Music by Suresh Peters
Lyrics by Girsih Putenchery
Produced by Antony Perumbavoor
Songs sung by: Yesudas, Chithra, Sujatha, MG Sreekumar, Jayachandran, Radhika Thilak, Nikhil, Prabhakaran, Mohanlal

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