August 1 , which got released in the late eighties was based on 1971 novel, The Day of the Jackal, by English writer Frederick Forsyth. 23 years later, S.N.Swamy and M.Mani(the producer of August 1)have come up with it’s sequel tilted August 15.Mammooty reprises the role of Perumal, (who was the DySP, CB-CID 23 years ago)in this sequel directed by Shaji Kailas.
The plot and the characters:V.G(Nedumudi Venu) is the C.M. of the state of Kerala. He is in loggerheads with the secretary of the party(Saikumar). The lottery,Sand mafias want the C.M. to be killed. So they hire an Assassin(Siddique)to get their job done. What happens next is what August 15 is all about.
Mammootty as Perumal: Mammootty is Perumal,the CBCID . Perumal looks good, rides a Royal Enfield, attends calls in his mobile,walks in slo-mo with a peculiar gait and a loud BGM playing behind, teases his superior officer Peter Zachariah(played brilliantly by Lalu Alex)to kill his time, plays with Photoshop and even cracks funny dialogues like this through his mobile phone(which rings with a ‘Nokia tune’ all the time!)
Perumal: (to someone called Ammini George)-Hello, Ormayundo ee mukham?.
Ammini: Pinnillathe,Engane marakkananu!
Siddique as the killer: Siddique,who is a really talented actor is wasted in this poorly written role . A cat and mouse game between the assassin and Perumal was what we had expected from this movie, but sadly there is nothing of that sort here. Siddique repeats his ‘Bada Dhosth’ act here also.
Loop Holes galore: Siddique,the assassin gives an anonymous call to all the leading newspapers and the visual media.Alas,the content of what he told them is the headline of all the newspapers,the next day! The doctors who are treating the C.M, the private secretary to the C.M and a couple of other insignificant people are always a part of the super confidential meetings called by Perumal and co to find out the killer! The super intelligent Perumal browses the poison page in our good old wiki and finds out the toxic substance that the killer has supposedly used to harm the C.M.!
The Best Scene: The confrontation scene between Perumal and the ADGP Peter Zachariah (at Peter’s office) . This one is a pretty hilarious scene, thanks to the brilliant actor Lalu Alex. As Peter Zachariah,he is a real treat to watch and is unarguably the only saving grace in this otherwise dumb movie. The scene at the Party secretary’s house involving Perumal, Peter and the secretary(Saikumar dressed up like the CPI(M) secretary,Pinarayi Vijayan)is also a cracker.
Meghna Raj and Swetha Menon– The 2 main female characters in the movie have less than ten minutes of screen time in the whole movie. They blabber something and fade into the oblivion.
Background score – The re recording is competent. It serves the purpose of waking up the few who have already gone into deep slumber.
Good Acting: Lalu alex as the ADGP is the only good thing about this movie. With his impeccable comic timing,he steals the show.
Shaji Kailas’ direction: Nothing worth writing about. There are a lot of weird shots in the movie. Multiple extreme close up shots of tea being poured into the tumbler are included in this movie, the reasons for their inclusion is known only to the director, I guess.
What went wrong: S.N.Swamy repeats the same mistakes which he made in Sagar Alias Jackey, Baba Kaliyani, Positive, Rahasya Police. The Perumal in August 15 is only an extension of the character played by Mohanlal in Baba Kaliyani. The styling, body language et al are repetitive and even reminded the iconic ‘Sethuramayyar’ at places. The story is exactly the same as that of August 1.To spice up the proceedings a bit,the recent clash within the CPI(M) is also dealt with topically but the treatment and the writing is so bland that it fails to become even remotely interesting. Nothing much happens in the first half. But the most terrible thing with the script is that the mission, the assassin, the motive, the conspirators, the method and almost everything else get revealed way too early(within the first fifteen minutes to be exact)leaving behind Perumal nothing much to do for the next 2 hours or so. So we can’t really blame him for walking in slo-mo and mouthing silly dialogues, right?
The climax: Some 25 minutes before the climax we are made to believe that the assassin(Siddique) has a deadly plan to carry out on the 15 th of August, the Independence day. But even after the end credits started rolling, neither Perumal nor I had any clue about what S.N.Swamy was talking about. A badly choreographed action sequence shot in some C class theatre followed by the mandatory S.N.Swamy twist (which is the end result of the ‘inky -pinky-ponky’ game between the script writer and his characters)were what we had in store instead!
Verdict: Drona 2010, the Shaji Kailas directed M.Mani production with Mammootty in the lead role was a disaster .The gentleman he is, Mammootty gave dates to the producer M.Mani again so that he can make up for the losses incurred in his previous film, thus August 15 was born. We wish Drona 2010 had never happened.
Rating- 3/10(Stay away from this dud)
Reviewed by firstname.lastname@example.org,nikhimenon.blogspot.com