Towards the interval block of Shylock, the new Mammootty starrer from Ajai Vasudev, we get a feeling that this character might have something interesting to his credit. Because till that point we were seeing only the routine exaggerated stuff from the script. And when Boss tells the commissioner that you have no idea what’s coming your way, I thought the movie was about to take a different route altogether. But to most people’s disappointment, Shylock had the same old revenge story to offer. Even the wacky characterization of the hero can’t cover up the usualness of this script.
Boss aka Shylock lends money to film producers in Kerala. A producer named Prathapa Varma refuses to give Boss’s money back and this eventually became an issue between the two. When Boss intervened in the shooting process of Varma’s movie, the rift between the two escalated and the movie Shylock is about this rivalry and the reasons behind that.
A common “review” you might hear about this movie will be that “this one is a treat for the fans”. It’s because the movie at every point is trying to be a fan tribute. Before the introduction of Mammootty, Hareesh Kanaran’s character exclaims, “He is the mega one”. And throughout the movie, you can find this semi Meta humor/swagger in the content. I am not against that idea of off-screen references happening in movies, but you have to blend it in a way that there is longevity to the charm of that scene. Creating a lot of stylish slow-motion visuals that fans can easily cut and use in the star’s birthday tribute video and calling it a stylish entertainer is not an acceptable thing. The second half of this movie is pretty much a Tamil movie with almost all the clichés one can see in Tamil movies with village backdrop. Ajai Vasudev has treated this movie in a way that you won’t sense any sort of surprise.
The Shylock avatar of Mammootty has him doing the character in a wacky and eccentric style. The best parts in that portrayal were already shown to us through various promos and for me, the only entertaining element in this whole movie was that particular performance of Mammootty. His performance in the flashback portions wasn’t that convincing. Rajkiran gets a character that he is doing in almost every movie these days. Meena plays that epitome of goodness. Kalabhavan Shajon and Siddique are the main antagonists here and they both have tried to give some characteristics to the poorly written villains. Hareesh Kanaran and Baiju are the comic reliefs whose only purpose here is to worship the hero.
Ajai Vasudev has shown us his brand of films through the first two films, Rajadhiraja and Masterpiece. And here also the texture is very much the same; which means even if you are slowly parking the car in a parking lot your wheels will make that screeching skidding sound. Almost all the situations in the movie sound far too familiar. You kind of know what will happen in every scene and there is hardly any surprise here for the viewer. The movie depends way too much on the villainous portrayal of the character by Mammootty. The debutant scriptwriters Aneesh Hameed and Bibin Mohan seem to have written this movie after watching a lot of over the top Telugu films. Almost every time Mammootty is shown on screen, we have the camera capturing it in extreme slow-motion along with that theme music. That theme music is actually quite a catchy one considering the wickedness of this character. But when you overuse it, it becomes annoying. The cinematography by Amal Neerad’s former associate Renadive is catchy in certain areas. But the editing has actually ruined the style element of the visuals. The scenes in the teasers and trailers had fewer cuts, but when it came to the movie those scenes received multiple slicing and the grace of those scenes vanished. Songs were mostly on the forgettable side. There is always something playing in the background to keep the viewer interested in this movie that has very few fresh elements to offer.
Mammootty’s character in the movie is an ardent movie fan and thus the writers have managed to include a lot of iconic dialogues or their interpretation in the movie. Those moments are interesting because of the charisma of the actor in Mammootty. Other than that, Shylock offers nothing fresh to its viewer. I remember some people considering Ajai Vasudev’s Masterpiece as a good movie; Shylock is very much the next good movie they were waiting for.
Creating a lot of stylish slow-motion visuals that fans can easily cut and use in the star’s birthday tribute video and calling it a stylish entertainer is not an acceptable thing.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended