When we wrote the review of Naran we wrote that even though the story was of mediocre quality, we liked the screenplay and the characters Ranjan Pramod had created. In fact we saw the same skills in his previous movies as well. In his first directorial venture he seems to have faltered and given the viewers a movie which is difficult to comprehend. The reviews all agree that this could be one of the worst Mohanlal movies ever.
The film will not appeal to any section of the audience even to die-hard Mohanlal fans. No one can grasp what Ranjan Pramod was talking about and the film crawls at snail pace. Suddenly a new Mohanlal appearing and talking very similar to his comedy characters in Priyadarsan or Sathyan Anthikkad films in the 80â€™s is a attempt by the director to cash in on Mohanlalâ€™s image.
And abruptly the story switches back to Dijo character who walks around in the forest like Zombie! The audience as well as Mohanlal does not know whatâ€™s going on here??? The director has no clue about the Muthanga incident, wild life photography and most important how to make a film!!! There is no semblance of either style or substance. The major fault is that Photographer lacks a script and whatever the director has tried to convey has no logic. It is an amateurish attempt by Ranjan.
The only saving grace is Azhagappanâ€™s camera work which captures Wynad in a documentary style. And why was Saranya Bhagyaraj a part of the film? At one part of the film towards the long drawn out climax Mohanlal mumbles- â€œEtha Swapnam, Etha Satyam..? â€œ It is exactly the audience sentiments, and in a way succinctly sums up this embarrassingly bad film.
No two ways about it, Photographer is an unmitigated endurance test at 2 hours 25 minutes. That is if you dare to go!
If you have the patience to sit through Ranjan Pramod’s directorial debut Photographer, you would finally ask yourself: ”Well! What was this film about?” That’s what you feel after seeing Photographer, perhaps the worst Mohanlal-starrer till date. It leaves you befuddled, thoroughly confused and totally exhausted.
The main problem with the film is that Ranjan, who himself scripted the film, faltered in the script department itself. Even the dialogues are unbearable at times. As for direction, the less said, the better. The acting department too falls flat. The director obviously didn’t pay much attention to that, perhaps taking it for granted that the presence of the superstar would ensure good acting. The fact is, even Mohanlal’s double role cannot salvage the film. The only saving grace is Azhagappan’s cinematography, which alone however, cannot attract people to the theatres. In short, Photographer is a film that will not appeal to any section of the Malayalam film viewing public and would better have not been made. It’s no doubt one of the most insufferable movies made in Malayalam in recent times
Does speaking to butterflies and elephants before taking their pictures or having long winding sequences without any consequence make for sensible cinema? That is the question on one’s mind while watching Ranjan Pramod’s directorial debut, Photographer. It is not as if we are questioning the sensibility of one of the most successful writers in Malayalam cinema today. But here he has lost it, trying to do too many things at once.It is difficult to keep track of the narrative as it keeps swinging from one end to another. In between all of this, an identical sibling of Dino pops up, further deepening the confusion. Film and confusion go on unendingly. There are three or four occasions where we feel the climax may be near, but it goes on and on. It’s like watching the director’s cut of a film where nothing shot is left out or snipped at the editing table.Poor Mohanlal cannot do much to salvage this project. He looks sincere and intense in the beginning, but his performance loses steam as the film heads nowhere. Even the second role offers him nothing substantial.