Masterpiece: A feast for fans
An out and out masala movie made to please Mammootty's fans
First, let's put things in perspective. Masterpiece is for Mammootty fans. The lone point of making this film, which gives off a very strong masala movie flavour, is to keep the fans excited, and it does that. With Masterpiece, director Ajay Vasudev has effectively ticked off every element in the 'mass masala' checklist and in the process, we get to see a larger-than-life Mammootty who can break the door of an SUV with a single blow, woo women and teach English, all simultaneously.
And, if you are thinking of how cliched this sounds, then wait for more. There is a campus where students armed with hockey sticks are at war with each other, a sensuous woman lecturer, a clownish canteen guy and a murder mystery. Can it get more cliched? I don't think so.
That said, Masterpiece isn't a drab affair. If anything, it only gets perky with time. The narrative is pacy, with ample twists thrown in, thereby concocting a thriller that doesn't really lag.
Director: Ajai Vasudev
Cast: Mammootty, Unni Mukundan, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
We are first introduced to a government college in Kollam, where two gangs (ridiculously named Royal Warriors and Real Fighters) fight it out for the silliest of reasons. But, things soon go awry as the college witnesses a murder and a subsequent suicide. Tempers flare, the college turns into a battleground with cops and students raining blows at each other. Enter Edward Livingston (Eddie), the teacher who can mellow down the hardest of the lot. Now, Eddie sets out to unravel the mystery behind the murder. But can he?
Of course, he can. Because it is Mammootty who plays Eddie. In fact, the highlight of the film is how it worships Mammootty. Every single blow he packs is accompanied by a cheeky BGM, enough slo-mo for drama and some hard-hitting dialogues (no, I am not talking about the occasional "I respect woman" chant).
Now, we only wish Uday Krishna and Ajay Vasudev had shown the same enthusiasm in crafting a much more realistic setting, like a more relatable campus and original-looking students. It looks like the whole storyline is stuck in the 1990s, with every single sequence reminding us of something we have seen before. As for characters, it's either black or white. The students are good, the cops are bad. Period.
But then, Masterpiece has its moments too. The humour works at certain points, like when Captain Raju makes a cameo appearance. Besides Mammootty, it is Unni Mukundan who gets a strong character. The actor has quite a lot of action sequences and manages to pull it off with elan. As for Gokul Suresh, he is stuck with a confused look, partly because he has nothing much to do. Poonam Bajwa and Varalaxmi are there for the sake of it.
Masterpiece comes with every trapping of a festival film. It is all about hoots and cheers. So, kindly refrain from looking for novelty here and enjoy the no-brainer with your friends.