The movie begins with the potrayal of Dileep, doing the character of Krishna Kumar. B, as a chhota local politician campaigning against a Cola company(similar to Plachimada issue) . He’s a lightweight at his home as well and is often treated shabbily by his family mambers. His father, Bala Gangadhara Menon (Kalasala Babu), an MLA from the same constituency, is the state education minister and is corrupt to the core. His two sisters are married to IAS/ IPS officers (potrayed by Sai Kumar and Shammi Tilakan).
Krishna Kumar’s love interest is Sharika (Kavya Madhavan), daughter of Bindu Panicker who worked as servant at Krishnakumar’s house. Bindu Panicker was fired from the job years back when young Krishna Kumar gave a love letter to little Shari. Their love is rekindled when they meet again years later as adults.
Story takes a turn when Krishna Kumar’s youngest sister falls in love with a Maths teacher at the school were Shari was teaching. The whole family except Krishna Kumar is against this marriage. They want her to get married to an IPS officer character played by Riyaz Khan. Sai Kumar, one of Krishna Kumar’s brother-in-laws, arranges goondas to murder the school teacher, a task which they complete in broad daylight, in front of school kids in the class room.
Krishna Kumar and his friends trace the goondas who did the deed but ends up in police custody in the process of beating them up. Thus it was ensured that he would not attend his sister’s wedding. Meanwhile Bindu Panikker, who was being harassed by goondas, police and Krishna Kumar’s family, asks him not to pursue his affair with Shari. A dejected and rejected Krishna Kumar decides to take matters into his own hand.
A scheming Chief Minister, benevolent cop (Vijayaraghavan) and omnipresent gang of friends encourage him to stand for election, as a candidate in the same constituency as his father. His election symbol is Lion. Rest of the stuff is what dreams are made of. Krishna Kumar wins the election and a convoluted post election scenario has him end up in Home minister’s chair. Rest of the plot is usual escapist fare.
It is the first time Dileep is acting this genre of movies and he has done a decent job. He has almost pulled off the transformation in his body language after becoming minister, where he tries to be more confident and aggressive.
This movie has a large cast of characters. Kavya Madhavan gives apt support for Dileep. One of the notable performances is by Kalasala Babu as Dileep’s father. Jagathi Sreekumar acts as a sidekick of ministers (initially Kalasala Babu’s and then later Dileep’s). This is role he’s done many times over and does it perfectly. Cochin Haneefa, as usual potrays one of the idiotic characters. As is wont in these genre of movies, Dileep is accompanied by four sidekicks in most of the frames, but they hardly mouth a dialogue nor are they taken to New Zealand. Rest of the cast includes Innocent, Shammi Tilakan,Bindu Panicker, Vijayaraghavan, Saikumar, Salim Kumar, Riyaz Khan, Harisri Asokan, Madhupal etc.
Story and screenplay is by Dileep’s team – Siby Thomas and Uday K Krishna. Like Dileep, this genre of movies are a new domain for them and they have done a competent job. There are lot of light moments in the movie where Dileep’s comic timing was utilised. This duo has an understanding of state’s political scenario and was able to pen the story and dialogue to adapt to those scenarios. Joshi’s direction is fast paced. He was able to keep this huge cast of characters under control and no one went over board with their performances.
The two songs, music given by Deepak Dev, are just OK. Both songs in this movie were picturised in New Zealand. One of the songs, Sundari, apart from being picturised in foreign locales, sounds foreign too with Dileep’s favourite singer Udit Narayan rendering it. Dileep and Kavya made a Tamasha of themselves by wearing outlandish costumes and performed what they thought would pass off as dance. We’re not sure if these ‘dream’ sequences made any difference to the final result at the box office.
With a plethora of similar movies released in past and in the pipeline, there is nothing different in what Lion offers other than Dileep’s presence and comic elements. But on its own it’s a watchable movie.