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Mammootty, the hero of this Mission...
Paresh Palicha | July 13, 2007 14:20 IST
Attention! Major Ravi is back with yet another film based on an incident that happened in his professional life as a soldier.
If Keerthichakra was based on his experiences in fighting Kashmiri terrorists, his new film, Mission 90 Days is based upon his leading a team of commandos to trace and capture (in cooperation with the CBI) the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi way back in 1991.
That gruesome incident is still vivid in the minds of many. So, the event shown in this film will give a sense of d�j� vu.
Now for the story. Major Sivaraman (Mammootty) leaves for home (Kerala [Images]) from New Delhi in his Maruti [Get Quote] 800. On the way he hears about the tragic death of the prime minister on the radio.
Very soon he faces rioters who damage his car and hurt him slightly. Undeterred, he continues with the journey and reaches home on the seventh day, but not before he thrashes hooligans in a toll booth.
After reaching home, he spends time with his friend who is a toddy tapper played by Salim Kumar. Just as the major starts getting cosy with his wife (Tulip Joshi), he gets a call from his superior telling him to report to Chennai and assist the SIT in cracking a case.
This is how the character of the highly adventurous, slightly eccentric but committed soldier is established.From here on, the story moves to the real thing. We are shown the documentary style of footage of Rajiv Gandhi -- his famous speech in Washington, DC, quoting John F Kennedy ('I am young and I too have a dream') and the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord with Lankan President Jayawardene.
This is followed by the actual recreation of Gandhi's assassination in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. The investigation moves on; suspects are cornered, leads found, some culminating in dead ends, others helping the team to move forward.
The narrative swings between raw and realistic, to being verbose and over-the-top. The major is made to get into verbal duels with others in the team -- the CBI and the local police of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He is also seen giving a mouthful to the higher authorities in the end.
As far as performance goes, Mammootty fits the role of Major Sivaraman to a T with his pumped up physique and attitude. He even does the typical star thing (stylishly removing and wearing his Ray-Ban sunglasses).
It is his presence that makes the experience of watching this film somewhat bearable, which is a lesson to the other major (Ravi) to refrain from making films into clich�d filmi events.
The awardee of the State Award for Best Screenplay last year for Keerthichakra also makes a Hitchcockian appearance, giving pep talk to his hero when the chips are down.
A truly mixed bag.
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