When superstar Mammootty has jumped into movie production under his home banner of Playhouse for the movie 'Jawan of Vellimala', he has assured that he comes up with a superior plot and settings. Added to that, he has also brought in the fresh ideas from a debutant director Anoop Kannan. But what he missed big time is the fine screenplay that has the power to thread together the very interesting array of characters and sequences, to the desired impact. As of now, 'Jawan of Vellimala' gives a look of a movie that has a fine base for a blockbuster, but one that lacked finesse to end up as one.
Mammootty plays an interesting character named Gopikrishnan, a former Jawan of the Indian Army who returned home from Kargil war after injuring his eye. Now working as a pump operator at the Vellimala dam, his queer nature of seeing spirits in the dark and associated cowardice is a mockery for most in the area. Gopi has more attachment with the dam as his father was shot dead while protesting for the dam, years ago. The movie falls into place with the arrival of Varghese (Sreenivasan), the executive engineer who finds some grave irregularities in the dam's construction. A young lad named Koshy Oommen (Asif Ali) also arrives there to settle the long pending bills due to his already deceased father, who was the contractor. Also in other important roles are Chacko (Baburaj) the chief engineer, and Anitha (Mamtha) the camp officer.
James Albert's scripts have plenty of characters and the base setting around the dam is the biggest highlight of the movie, with everyone around linked with the inanimate structure. And of course before listing any other, it is the cinematography by Satheesh Kurup that demands maximum laurels. Some of his shots are truly mesmerising, with the photography remaining the biggest appealing factor of the movie.
Debutant Anoop Kannan's direction is inconsistent with a complicated theme that demanded the finesse of a seasoned director. But he is sure to be seen more in the industry as promises of his sparks are evident all through. More over, the editor Manoj also seems to be in dark at times to cut together the best of the shots, which has largely affected the narrative flow of the film. Like the 'Ghost' song there were some more that needed to be shelved out. At the same time, the animation and effects (except in the songs) were top class and really generated the feeling of mystery.
In the cast lines, Mammootty looks appealing as usual, trying to shoulder the responsibilities of pushing the detached segments on, with his likable mannerisms and dialogue delivery. His puzzles about his on strange cowardice and the climax sequences were all endearing enough for the lovers of the actor. But he is largely let down by the writing & production department, which could have home worked more before execution. Mammootty must be also applauded for making a social relevant movie like this with good production values. Asif Ali, Sreenivasan and Baburaj also play to the demand of their roles. Bijipal's music and BG scores are another likable factor in the movie. And the later half with its share of thrills appear better than the first.
The execution of 'Jawan of Vellimala' certainly ruins the possibilities of a great movie from a promising plot. But the movie will be fine for a onetime watch, if you don't go with bigger expectations.