Moothon (The Elder One) - An overstuffed and overrated drama which deserved a better treatment.
Malayalam Film industry have been making some path breaking cinema in the last two years. The success lies because they are content driven. So i was expecting the same from Geethu Mohandas second film, which garnered a lot of attention in various film circuits. But for me personally it gave a disdain and a dull feel. Like her debut film Liars Dice, Search is the key theme being followed here. Here is the journey is about a character Mulla who goes to Mumbai to find the missing brother. The bumpy journey and how it changes the lifes of few other people forms the crux of the story. The film also deals with people who grapples with their sexual identity. Its an unblinking look, constantly emphasizing the difficulties and dangers that surrounds us that no human being should be required to lead.
The narration follows a back and forth style story telling and its unnecessarily complicated and confusing. There are ample plot similarity with the Salaam Bombay. With Anurag Kashyap producing the film, there seems a heavy influence on his making style when is comes to showing the darker shades of Mumbai. These streets are without doubt a cruel and dreadful place which showcases a world of bullying, poverty, prostitution and drug dealing. There is nothing new which comes in the first half of the film, these are all things we have seen in many films. Not all dark themes connect with the audience.
Now quiet a lot of things didn't work for me in this film. The first and foremost the jagged tone and screenplay have no continuity and its imbalanced. Majority of the characters felt two dimensional. Faces and characters just form out of the crowd without offering any reasoning. The editing was absolutely ridiculous. There are a tons overall convenience and coincidence that the film took. A perfect landing in Mumbai from the Lakshadweep coast (what the hell was that mermaid doing?), the orphanage escape, an idiotic car chase, meeting with the brother. The siblings childhood is left completely ignored so i fail to understand why the brother search began at the first place. The relationship felt completely arbitrary. I can go on and on, but i am tired.
The film would have worked wonders if they focused on a single narrative with in depth characterization. May be they should have explored more on the second half forbidden love story much more or the sibling relationship or the underbelly friendship. The closing scene is a powerful one, but i really doubt what that laugh meant. An acceptance of what kind, reality or identity? One guy in the theater clapped in the end, was it for the overall film or thank god it ended feel. For me its latter. As a viewer, it left me high and dry and desperately bored.
Verdict - 2/5(A reflective study gone wrong)