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Bharathan Effect has a bad effect
Paresh C Palicha | July 02, 2007 16:34 IST
When the tagline of a Malayalam film reads 'Myth meets Science,' it intrigues you. When the film posters claim that it is scripted by a writer whose first script, written more than a decade ago, is still exciting filmmakers from all languages, the film sounds exciting.
Yes, Bharathan Effect is written by Madhu Muttom, the writer credited with the story of Manichithrathaazhu, a psychological thriller that is considered a modern classic. It has been remade in Kannada as Aaptamitra and Tamil as Chandramukhi. Priyadarshan is now in the process of making its Hindi version.
The film starts on August 15, 2107. A futuristic spaceship flies in a computer generated environment, and we go into flashback to see how it all began.
To cut it really short, Bharathan Effect is the tale of a somewhat deranged science freak Bharathan (Biju Menon), who cannot settle down with a regular job, as his mind is full of inventions. He gets married and takes up a job at a tuition centre.
One day, as he passes an abandoned graveyard, he notices a paper rocket -- flown by some children -- staying midair for an unusually long period of time. He starts investigating it. In the process, he loses his job and even his wife.
But Bharathan does discover the reason behind the phenomenon and claims that he can make flying objects that can be used by man to reach any destination without any fuel.
There are sub-plots involving ghosts and amnesia to beef up the story. But they only hinder the story.
On the big screen, it does not look as interesting as it is while reading about it. To establish Bharathan's character, we are shown his workroom, which is filled with weird-looking robotic devices at various stages of completion and lab equipment, that make us wonder why the art director dug things that look like they belong to children's science fiction serials telecast on Doordashan in the 1980s. In this day and age, when the world is making breakthrough discoveries, these things look unintentionally hilarious.
Another thing that is unintentionally hilarious was a garden cleaner, developed by Bharathan and taken away by his landlord (played by Jagathy) in lieu of the unpaid rent. One day when he starts it, the machine starts climbing coconut palms and plucking coconuts. And then, the landlord and his son-in-law start exporting the coconuts to the Middle East!
There is nothing to write about the performances. Biju Menon tries to convince people that he is not mad but his acting proves otherwise. Geetu Mohandas is the typical distressed wife that we have seen many times before. It is left to veterans like Innocent and Jagathy to entertain us. Even the appearance of Suresh Gopi, as the world's renowned psychiatrist, is a prop to remind us that the same writer wrote Manichithrathaazhu.
In all, Anil Das's Bharathan Effect would have worked wonders if it was made 20 years ago, and promoted as a children's film!
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