'Banking Hours' (Malayalam)
Director: K Madhu
Cast: Anoop Menon, Meghna Raj, Kailash, Krishna, Nishanth Sagar, Jishnu Raghavan, Shankar, Tini Tom and Sudheesh
Malayalam is witnessing films that circumvent the old cookie-cutter plots. The latest pedestrian along the new path is veteran filmmaker K Madhu, through his latest flick ‘Banking Hours'. The director is known for some genuine suspense thrillers that turned to be block busters, like the ‘CBI series'. The notions that added to the expectation level of ‘Banking Hours’ to be a whole new spin on things were based on the reputation of the director. The curious tagline ‘Just a few hours... the Banking Hours’ too was attractive.
Now, keeping the presuppositions apart, after the nearly two-hour long movie, the viewer will realise with a slight disappointment that forfeiting the freshness of plot for conventional situations ended up unconvincing.
The screenplay by Sumesh and Amal is filled with some glaring pot-holes and fallacious sequences. For instance, there is hardly a drop of originality in the movie, especially the first 30 minutes when the Lemo Bank, where the whole set of actions take place, is established.
The first question is that in which bank you will be able to see people from all walks of life, the majority of them wandering for nearly an hour without any purpose? The characters behave as if they are in a park enjoying evening sun or having a buffet, moving from table to table.
The passing shots, where a lot of people are moving in and out of the frame, made things messier and the interior of the bank gave the feeling of a busy market.
Initially, the movie gave an impression that it is inspired by Hollywood movies like the ‘The Bank Job’ or ‘Reservoir Dogs’.
Thank God, the script-writers did not go for a derivative plot, which would have been the greatest crime towards makers like Quentin Tarantino.
The major characters, including Shravan (Anoop Menon), Ajay Vasudevan (Kailash), Avinash (Jishnu), Idikkula (Tiny Tom) and Rahul (Munna), turned to be the victims of the doltish plot and tone of the movie.
However, K Madhu adds his own style to some of the shots and manages to keep the overall pace. But an experienced campaigner like him could have gone for some experimentation with the narration, which would have at least provided some intriguing moments. Unfortunately, it did not happen between 10 am and 4 pm, the banking hours