(This review was written by the guest contributor Unni)
What does Fredrick Forsythâ€™s short story â€ The Veteranâ€ and Chintamani Kolakkase (CMK) have in common? The protagonists of both are criminal lawyers who win acquittals for their criminal clients, only to finish them off once they are free. In the former it was a barrister and in the latter it is Lal Krishna Veeradiyar (LK).
CMK starts off with a Kairali news reporter covering the release of a rapist, Qureshi (Baburaj), a law student who was jailed for raping his tutor. He is on his way to the farmhouse, when lo behold! – our hero is introduced (in slow motion of course), with a Batman-esque lawyer custome, hair gelled back, two curls sitting pretty on his forehead. Predictably Qureshi is murdered (gruesomely) by our hero, not before he is subjected to some verbal sermons on â€œCosmic Lawâ€ and some heavy duty stuff.
The scene shifts to his home, which consists of his sister Gajalakshmi (Rekha) and his Uncle. We are told that LK had a normal childhood until he saw his teacher being brutally hacked to death in front of him. After witnessing this blood-spill, the young LK was mentally affected.
Back to the present where LK goes about his business of killing his acquited clients with David Rajarathinam (Bheeman Raghu) being the next. About one hour into the movie, and no signs of Chinatmani yet and we wonder what the title was all about. But our hopes are soon laid to rest, as the focus now shifts to some NRI parents who come to LK for saving their daughters from jail, all of them medical students accused of murdering Chintamani (Bhavana). Chintamani Warrier is the only daughter of Shoolangapani Warrier (Thilakan). Chintamani is a bright student and aspiring to be a doctor.
She gets a good rank in the Entrance exams and seeks admission in Gurukripa Medical College for a free seat. The college is predominantly for NRIâ€™s. At college, Chintamani is harassed by the notorious Mirchi girls, 9 of them, all unruly and sporting heavy makeup, modern outfits and speaking horribly accented Malayalam resembling some music channel VJâ€™s(One of them perpetually holds her hand upright with a NOKIA 7260 throughout the movie – maybe Shaji K forgot to tell CUT?). Chintamani is brutally killed and her body parts are clinically cut and strewn in bags into the river.
Kalabhavan Mani does a miniscule role of CI Ayyappan, and evokes a few laughs. One wonders why the BG music of Commissioner is played each time Mani appears. Biju Menon investigates the serial murders of LKâ€™s clients, finds out the culprit, but lack of proof prevents him from arresting LK. Vani Viswanath plays LKâ€™s junior lawyer and is wasted in that role. Rekha, plays his sister, Gajalakshmi and has a role shorter than LKâ€™s curls. Thilkan sleep-walks through his role as Chintamaniâ€™s father.
The background score by Rajamani (of Commissioner Tan-tan-tan fame), is extremely jarring, especially the chantings of Asathoma sath gamaya remixed , whenever Suresh Gopi makes that now-famous slow motion walks.
For those who are looking for punch dilaogues from Suresh, here it is – Madhava, Mahadeva though we could not fathom what it meant in the context. And oh by the way,our hero goes about the town , not in a Pajero, not in an Innova, guess what, a good old Black amabassador.(In the age where movies depict heros travalleing in swanky BMWâ€™s or S Class Mercâ€™s, this ambassador sports a refreshing look and Hindustan Motors should be thankful to Shaji for promoting their forgotten brand)
Shaji Kailas draws inspiration from the recent SME ragging incident and from the Dr Omana case, some years ago, where she kills her husband and cuts him to pieces. As in his earlier movies, Chintamani, is replete with Hindu symbols like Sanskrit Slokas mouthed by the hero, the Rudraksha mala, Shradham etc.
On the whole, CMK does not quite live upto expectations of a Shaji Kailas-Suresh Gopi thriller. In todayâ€™s Malluwood, innovation is the name of the game and if Suresh Gopiâ€™s directors dont come up with something different, other than the usual Cop/Rowdy Achayan/Revenge taker types, its high likely that his movies will contine to fare miserably at the Box Office.
[Picture Courtesy : Nowrunning.com]