The mass masala movies have always evolved over the time. Irupathaam Noottandu, Narasimham, Big B etc. are some of the examples one can show to illustrate the evolution of that genre. What is sad about Mammootty’s new movie Masterpiece is that it is still stuck in a formula that no longer appeals to the audience. With a plot that is way too elaborate, it is hard to have a proper track of events in this predictable action thriller.
So the movie is set in a campus where there are two rival gangs. They are always fighting and one fine day the campus witnesses a murder and subsequently one more unfortunate death happens. The tension surrounding these two murders causes issues between police and the students. And the movie talks about how things change when a newly appointed English professor Edward Livingston joins the college at this particular moment.
The narrative style of Masterpiece is pretty much on the synopsis level. They are talking about the gangs and their rivalry in the dullest possible way. And you can sort of predict what is going to happen if you have watched previous Udayakrishna films. The campus setup, canteen comedy and all the cliché stuff are there. Its only one hour into the movie our hero appears and you can sense that the content of the film has less interest in being interesting and it is more interested in showing hero’s swag from that very moment. Then the Velipadinte Pusthakam phase of “charming teacher solving problems” happen. And because it is Ajai Vasudev, we have back to back stunt sequences that have countless number of Scorpios and sudden breaking.
Mammootty has got the looks to play the teacher character he plays and looking at the script I can confidently say that it was only demanding his looks. Unni Mukundan is another pivotal character who is trying hard to show some attitude but doesn’t really succeed in it. The union of struggling actors lead by Maqbool Salman is mainly focusing on just one expression. Gokul Suresh who wasn’t that bad in his debut film looked really expressionless in this outing. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar plays the stereotyped role of the female police head. The cast has names like Lena, Mukesh, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Kalabhavan Shajon, Kailash, Nandu and several others. Poonam Bajwa is just there to flaunt her body and ogle at Mammootty and Santhosh Pandit is there just for the hype.
Ajai Vasudev made Rajadhi Raja prior to this and looks like he has no real interest in finding really fresh concepts and is only interested in movies that can have lots and lots of fight. From the last minute twist (which most people might have guessed in the beginning itself) to the complete structure of this thriller, there are no real exciting moments or phases in this film. Only thing that would have made a difference was the action. But the ambitions were a little too much and it was the same old dust pollution windy fights. Udayakrishna has taken special effort to ridicule the investigation style of Kerala Police. The writer who made an object of desire heroine giving lines like “I respect women” to the hero (two times) was a hilarious irony. Deepak Dev on the whole was a misfit for this project and the cinematography was just average. The production design was also really weak.
Their intention is to make it a celebration movie. But Masterpiece has nothing exciting in it to give you that adrenalin rush. If you feel that a movie like Pokkiri Raja would work even now, Masterpiece might work for you. If not, this could well be a tedious theater experience.
Masterpiece has nothing exciting in it to give you that Adrenalin rush. If you feel that a movie like Pokkiri Raja would work even now, Masterpiece might work for you.