There is a one year old story that Mohanlal dumped “Ali bhai” because the script had nothing new to offer. After watching the movie at Shenoy’s yesterday, I wish.
Sreenivasan came up with this classic dialogue once (in his monologue TV show)
“I see mimicry artists imitate Mohanlal and Mammooty, I understand that they do it for a living. What I don’t understand is the need for Mohanlal to imitate Rajnikanth”
The day Sivaji was released, I met this Mohanlal fan’s association guy who was shaken by the grand release of the Rajnikanth movie in Kerala. 85 Centres across the state with a 4 theater release in Trivandrum, Lal’s home turf. Alibhai is the Mohanlal syndicate’s answer to the “Shivaji” gimmicks. The film initially thanks the “Mohanlal Fan’s Associations” for the “good work” they are doing, Mohanlal gets introduced with a Rajniyish “Mohanlal – UNIVERSAL STAR” line. Throughout the movie Mohanlal takes pot shots at competition, like Rajni does in Sivaji. And hell, the movie does not have a story line, just like Sivaji.
Story : Mohanlal plays a Calicut based goonda, supposedly based on a real life character Ali Bappu. The story line is he defeats all the villains. End of story. Lal gets introduced around twenty times in the movie; every time Lal comes into a scene, it is in slow motion with a loud, rather amateur leitmotif in the background. There are around 2500 characters in the movie, almost everybody except say my dentist.
Shaji Kailas proves again that he has forgotten movie making long long ago. It is not necessary to release a movie every two months, if they are movies like “Chinthamani”, “Time” and “Ali Bhai”. “Ali Bhai” reeks of the basic Shaji Kailas qualities – sheer lack of subtlety (when Mohanlal says he smells, the camera focuses on his nose) and scriptlessness (there is no script).
Distribution magic. 75 centres, 4 theaters in Trivandrum, 365 shows a day. Being a die hard Mohanlal fan, thats good news. And hey Mohanlal’s binami, Man Friday and our hottest producer Antony Perumbavoor does a cameo in the intro scene. His character gives thumbs up to Alibhai. Thumbs up sign means “whatever shit you do, with such a big release, we’ll break even”
The movie – full two and a half hours. No its not a super human Mohanlal movie. I loved Narasimham, Aaram Thampuran, Praja and even Baba Kalyani. This one is horrible, worse than Onnnaman or Thandavam.
Technically imperfect – Shaji Kailas is touted for his fast paced, technically perfect movies. “Alibhai” does the honours, there is no technique.
1. Imperfect Dubbing – characters speak with their mouth shut (maybe thats the way it is in Calicut)
Calicut accent – Mohanlal’s punch line in the movie is that he is from Calicut, but he speaks with a clear Thirontharam accent. None of the major characters have a Calicut accent. Who wrote the script?
3. Mundu – Mohanlal jumps out of his
enfield bike and ties the mundu to the right. (A mallu muslim). Shows the amount of editing that has gone into this rushed Onam movie.
4. It is a terrible bore – Especially Innocent’s character who delivers every dialogue in the same way, not that Innocent is a good actor, but no one forces you to cast him. Unnecessary sentiments, long action scenes, lukewarm villains, fat Mohanlal, horrid Navya Nair, bad poor jokes, avoidable songs.
Verdict : Though it deserves a flop, the one week gap before “NASRANI”, Mammooty’s Onam movie releases might save the movie. The initial collections plus the mega distribution strategy will make sure “Ali Bhai” breaks even. Highly missable movie. There could be pirated DVDs or free internet downloads, even then avoid it.
Reactions : will be updated. I am comfortably numb 🙂