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Home > Movies > Reviews

Mohanlal rocks in Hallo

Paresh C Palicha | July 06, 2007 14:55 IST


The first thing you remember about the Rafi-Mecartin-directed Hallo is the different ringtones used by various characters in the film -- from 'hallelujah' to a female pleading the user to pick up the phone in a seductive tone to a sinister laughter that reminds you of movie villains of yesteryear. The ringtones signify that the title of the film is connected with phone conversations.

The second thing we notice is that we have not seen Mohanlal act in such a carefree style in ages -- his role in Chotta Mumbai was just a precursor of things to come.

Sivaraman (Mohanlal) is a criminal lawyer whose main activity is hopping bars and creating a ruckus. Reason? He's a jilted lover. His parents did not let him marry the girl of his choice and she was brutally murdered. This is his revenge against his family; he has promised himself that he would die drinking, giving pain to his parents.

The film is similar to the director duo's earlier work Chathickatha Chandu, where the life of a rich heiress of a large joint family is under threat and the culprits are her own relatives. There are some cosmetic changes made in the plot for the sake of argument -- in the former, the hero was a struggling scriptwriter and here, he is a non-working lawyer with a drinking problem; in Chathickatha Chandu, he was the son of a maid and here, he is the rich son of a lawyer; and there were letters in Chathickatha Chandu and here, there is a phone call.

Coming back to Sivaraman, the twist comes in the form of a phone call from a girl seeking help because she was kidnapped by goons. They will kill her if she does not provide the password of her bank account.

The film belongs to Mohanlal; it is his breezy performance as the semi-conscious drunkard with some witty dialogues thrown in that never gives us a dull moment in the first half. He gets ample support from Jagathy Sreekumar, his friend with a limp in one leg.

The second half is a bit of a letdown as it gives soap-opera-ish feel with stock characters -- Salim Kumar handles the comic track, Siddique (with a bald pate and menacing clean-shaven look), Risa Bawa and Shaiju Kurup as the villainous trio, and Madhu, the wise patriarch.

Model-turned-actress Parvathy Milton has a charming screen presence.

Hallo is enjoyable fare if you like the Rafi-Mecartin brand of filmmaking, and Mohanlal.

Rediff Rating:

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