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A half-baked Romeoo
Paresh C Palicha | December 17, 2007 11:51 IST
The reason why actors in the eighties were stars is because they portrayed characters we could identify with -- ordinary folk like you and I.
The reason for the musings on the good old days is because filmmakers are still trying to replicate the same formula in search of elusive success.
Alas! The filmmakers of today do not have the moral conflict angle of yesteryears to make their stories interesting. So, they have to find an excuse to create conflict, no matter how farfetched or outlandish they are.
A prime example of that is the Malayalam flick Romeoo (sic) written by Rafi-Mecartin and directed by their mentor Rajasenan.
Starring Dileep, Romeoo is the story of a male nurse Manu (Dileep) working in a swanky hospital. He is the son of a junior artist Ratheesh Kumar (Cochin Haneefa) and an erstwhile singer (Mallika Sukumaran), who makes a living by being a judge in a musical reality show.
So far so good, and you sit up expecting to see a true blue 'middle of the road' realistic fare. But that is not to be and what we get to see instead is something disappointing, to put it mildly.
Manu is smitten by a singer Leena (Samvrutha), who is competing in his mother's show. He in turn is the object of affection of a lady doctor Priya (Vimala) working with him in the hospital. Adding more substance to the subject is a third girl, Bhama (newcomer Shruthi Lakshmi).
As if by a quirk of fate, Manu is committed to marry all three of them as promised by different people close to him failing which his life would be in danger. The story moves on to show (though unconvincingly) how Manu solves this problem.
The screenplay has everything that you can imagine in the slapstick films of a bygone era. There are impersonations, mistaken identities and what have you.
The first half works with 'a laugh a minute' situations. But this gets too much in the second half. It would have worked if the gung-ho spirit was maintained throughout the duration of the film. Somehow we get a feeling that the writer(s)-director team were clueless about how to get out of the quagmire they found themselves in.
Dileep seems to be control in the beginning as the role of Manu is tailor made for him. But this does not last long as the film proceeds. Known as a poor man's Mohanlal when he started doing roles like this, the actor, of late seems to have lost some sheen in executing them. He had better rediscover himself soon or his career will go Jayaram's way.
As for the three leading ladies, they are reduced to props for the leading man to play around with. Samvrutha gets noticed with the screen time she gets while the other two -- Vimala and Shruthi Lakshmi -- are as good as forgotten.
Cochin Haneefa, Suraaj Venjaaramoodu, Risa Bava and others have nothing sustainable.
All in all, this Rajasenan film could have been better if the writers had spent more time at the writing table.
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