Film: Loham, Direction: Ranjith
Cast: Mohanlal, Andrea, Siddique, Vijayaraghavan and Renji Panicker
Gold has been struggling to prove its worth. The sudden spurt in the prices of the yellow metal in the past decade was attributed to the high cost incurred on mining activities. Like gold price, one’s talent also shows ebbs and flows.
In a film career spanning 28 years (14 years as director), Ranjith has seen many ups and downs. But his name has the magnetic effect to evoke curiosity in viewers. When he teams up with Mohanlal, the level of expectation peaks. So Loham became the most eagerly-awaited movie in recent times.
Loham tells the inside-outside story of gold smuggling through the Kozhikode Airport. Jayanthi (Andrea Jeremiah) arrives from Mumbai to Kozhikode in search of her husband Ramesh (Ashvin A Mathew). She hires the taxi of Raju (Mohanlal) to go to Kochi. The story then takes shape in the urban landscape of the metro. When Jayanthi tries to tie the loose ends to find out the mystery behind the missing of Ramesh, many secret doors open and both Raju and Jayanthi are attacked.
When the 129-minute movie completes the first half, viewers hope for a better action-packed latter half. Even though there are many twists and turns in the second half, everything falls short of expectations.
If put in simple terms, Loham leaves almost all the questions unanswered in the end, which is totally unexpected from a matured filmmaker like Ranjith. There is almost a dozen cameo appearances, ranging from Thesni Khan to Shyamaprasad, which make the film look like a crowded flight carrying double its capacity.
The character of Mohanlal always walks in the shadow of his past characters. Making things worse, there are references to movies like Gandhi Nagar Second street, Aaram Thampuran and Narasimham. When Ranjith deliberately decides to re-roll these sequences, he makes the audience believe that he is suffering from writer’s block or his talent has exhausted.
The song sequences are imperfectly timed and they further ruin the flow of the film. Sreevalsan J Menon’s part as music director falls flat completely. The mustache-twirling scenes of Mohanlal give only a short-lived glimmer of hope to the viewers. Even a hard-core Lal fan may find it difficult to digest the second half, where the plot lands in a no man’s land!
Mollywood has been in an experimental mode of late. Unfortunately, movies like Loham are many laps behind in race to this glory. When Megalomaniac directors decide to live in the shadow of their past glory, films like Loham happen. Soothing effect comes from the comic sequences of Siddique, who dons the anti-hero and of Soubin Sahir, who is in a kind of guest appearance.
Only when the heroism surrounding Mohanlal ceases to exist, would we understand that the script was swimming naked through out the film. And as the end credits roll, you confirm that both your time and money have been wasted.