Director: Arun Vaidyanathan
Cast: Mohanlal, Mukesh, Ragini Nandwani, Vijay Babu, Aju Varghese and Baburaj
The era of movies which revolve around a single star is extinct. Now, films fall into the category where so many ingredients are mixed well to prepare a sumptuous dish. The common sense is that one or the other factor may click and could save the producer’s hard-earned money. But some in Mollywood, including actors and directors, often forget this. Their wanton attempts to fool the audience now is dumped into the dustbin of our memory due to the sheer lack of substance.
Tamil Nadu-born Arun Vaidyanathan’s first Mollywood outing ‘Peruchazhi’ (bandicoot), with Mohanlal in the lead, hogged headlines in for its eye-popping shooting cost, which was incurred as the movie was set in US.
‘Peruchazhi’ revolves around Jagannathan (Mohanlal), who is an intelligent political consultant. He is flown to the US by his political rival Francis Kunjappan (Mukesh), where he assists Sunny Kurishingal (Vijay Babu), the Malayali campaign manager of California Governor candidate John Kory (Sean James Sutton), in a bid to ratchet up his dismal ratings. Jagannathan is assisted by Pottakkuzhy Jabbar (Baburaj) and Vayalar Varkey (Aju Varghese). During his stay in the US, Jagannathan meets a sex worker, Jessy (Ragini Nandwani), and falls in love with her. This is another parallel track that carries the rest of the plot.
Winning the California Governor election using (cheap) tricks by a political consultant from Kerala forms the backbone of the story.
It’s absolutely normal to feel that writers Arun Vaidyanathan and Ajayan Venugopalan had lost their mind as they have mercilessly choked the script with cliched cliches without any shame.
The sequences where the intelligence of the protagonist is shown as an election-winning tactic are difficult to chew, let alone digest, as they are well below the level of tricks used at the local body elections.
The screening of yesteryear scenes from the popular Mohanlas starrers seems to be okay in the beginning, but with weary repetition, even the hardcore fans will lose patience and run for the nearest exit. By twisting his lips as a bandicoot and calling himself peruchazhi, Mohanlal tries his best to save the film from becoming a total downer, but in vein.
‘Peruchazhi’ is an unpardonable waste of good talent, as these actors were not given even an iota of chance to prove their mettle.
Driving the last nail into the coffin of the patience of the audience, the final scenes are unbearably boring and will leave you devastated. If one rues for the 154 minutes he sat straight in the theatre seeing the rat race, he could not be blamed. The film evokes the feeling that this bandicoot needed to be rat poisoned to rescue the house of hope, the sooner the better.