Acting as a fisherman is a challenging ask for any actor – mainly for the crude accent and also the mannerisms. The late Sathyan had made memorable the character of Palani in Ramu Kariat’s Chemmeen. In Bharathan’s Amaram, Mammotty won a lot of acclaim for his Achootty.
As for Mohan Lal, If there was one role missing in his career, it was that of a fisherman.He got his chance in Dr Janardanan’s Mahasamudram. Sadly to say, the movie pales in comparison to any of the movies mentioned above. Mahasamudram kicks off with a football match between the Beach Eleven and the Seven Stars, rival clubs. The absence of Isahak aka Isa [Lal] in the match seems to be the hot topic during the match – he is out somewhere on the sea. Just like the spiderman cartoon theme goes – Friendly neighborhood Isa arrives just in time and saves the match.
Of course the entry has to be dramatic. So you see Mohan Lal’s each on the left and right finally merge into one. Clad in Brazil’s canary yellow and green jersey, he wins the match for Beach Eleven – not before hes subject to some foul play by Baburaj, who plays the villan-with-a-smirk, for the umpteenth time.
The scene shifts to the Fisherman community – Isa has a heart of gold – loved by many and runs a geriatric home with the help of the Father [Jagathi]. One of its inmates is Isa’s mentally challenged father – Velankanni [Innocent] – who always “escapes” from the home and hallucinates that his wife[Manka Mahesh] is with him all the time.
Isa has his share of problems. He is a married man and his wife Devi [Laila] is in Jail for killing her brother!!!. [Now when was the last time you saw a heroine go to Jail – Panchagni? Credit to the director for being “innovative”]. Her brother [Risa Bava] had opposed the marriage between them and he gets accidentally killed, on the night of Isahak-Devi marriage .
The movie goes through predictable twists and turns resulting in the climax – a football game, with Lal donning the boot once again, against none other than IM Vijayan in the opposing team. Lal does a David Beckham – the ball shooting off like a projectile – into the arms of the goalie – who’s apparently a clone of Buffoon – going by his performance. Undeterred, Lal tries the bicycle kick – the very shot that IM Vijayan does so effortlessly. So does Isa win the game for the Beach Eleven?
Mahasamudram has an ensemble of actors – Sai Kumar as MLA Sebastian as a good man for a change – Rahman as Rarichan -Isa’s sidekick, Karthika, Indrans, Gopakumar, Kalasala Babu, Jagadeesh etc. There are a couple of new faces as the villains.
As far as his character is concerned, Mohan Lal has not done anything new in Mahasamudram. The movie was taken solely to cash in on Lal’s superhuman image – his entry reminds us of his rise-from-the-water in Narasimham. He looks old and tired but surprisingly agile on the football field.
Laila is easily the most wooden-faced heroine ever to act with Lal and shares no chemistry whatsoever with him. Suniel Shetty will be her perfect match. Innocent’s character is similar to the one he did as Jayaram’s father in Manasinakkare.
The dialogues penned by the director himself are passe. Isa often repeats Pankayam pidicha kai so many times, that the viewer really wants to twist that “kai”. They bear striking resemblance to the dialogues in Lal’s numerous movies like Aaram Thampuran, Narasimham, Ravanaprabhu etc. Shaji’s camera has captured well the Vizhinjam coastline and the football sequences. Only one song from M Jayachandran is hummable – the Kando Kando number rendered by Venugopal and Chitra, picturised on Lal and Laila.
At best, Mahasamudram can be called as an average movie. It offers nothing new and is strictly for Mohan Lal fans only. Lal incidentally had done the movie for Suresh Kumar – the producer and his old chum.