After a few months, Mohanlal finally returns to a movie that can do well at the box office. yes, his ‘shikaar… the hunt’ with some shortcomings, has the potential to give him a welcome success, after all those recent flops.
Playing a trucker named balaraman on the run from a forgettable past, the film is entirely in the hands of the versatile actor. and every time he moves on to other petty stories off the main track, the uneasy feeling is there. anyway, ‘shikaar’ with a plot about a man destined to escape revenge for his past deeds is a different thought and a better product for padmakumar, the talented young director who ends his long wait for a success.
balaraman (mohanlal) a truck driver, operating in the forest area called chittazha, transporting bamboos, he is the leader of all the good men of the high mountains, fighting with all the outsiders who come to create havoc in the region. Constantly supported and followed by Buy Manappan, his trusted assistant, all his hopes are pinned on his adopted daughter Ganga, who is set to join a medical course by securing second place in the entrance exams. but his haunting past of his follows him to this forest lair, which clearly makes him overly protective of his daughter and himself, to the point of psychosis. With a group willing to make the protagonist a miserable life for acts that he had never committed, Balaraman now has to take the greatest risks of his life to save everything.
the climax of the history of s. sureshbabu is that even if you can find the very so-so story after the show, the storytelling techniques used, and the finesse to keep the element of suspense until the last 30 minutes, it is a huge success. and even when the backstories are open, you really admit that there are reasons for the protagonist to fear her gruesome past. the problem with the film is its touring first half with no clear ideas about whether or how to cast the main character as a mass hero. poorly choreographed comedic situations and forced fight sequences also add to the narrative problems. the two massive operations in the film, the first by the police and the other by the Naxalites, seem exaggerated, as people are portrayed on the lookout to get caught with the least of difficulties. the dialogues also do not have much steam to appreciate. but in the second half, things are on the right track and the climax is better than the procedures that we were until then.
The film remains a visual treat with manoj pillai working at his command, traversing the landscapes and lush green forests with some truly adventurous shots. the other highlight, naturally, remains mohanlal, who has given his heart to another complex role, although the necessary sequences to bring out the great performer in him are missing. but one thing about the movie and the actor is that no one can think of such a plot without him at the center. samuthirakani in a cameo gets lots of applause for his fiery spirit. The rest of the cast, including Lalu Alex, Ananya, Thalaivasal Vijay, and Kalabhavan Mani, are fine in their parts. While Suraj fails to elicit laughs in a middling role, Jagathy manages to brighten things up with his immaculate timing and acting, a stark contrast between their abilities. sneha has a short role, just to look beautiful, while lakshmi gopalaswamy and kailash’s cameo is attractive.
renjan abraham in editing could have cleaned up a few more sequences, which could have made the movie much finer. The film’s art director has also worked overtime to give the temporary village a realistic look. m jayachandran’s four songs are good, but they appear in the wrong parts of the narrations: in fact, the movie may not be affected even without any of the songs.
All in all, m padmakumar will manage to make a name for himself as a successful director through ‘shikaar’, albeit on a slippery slope of unconventional subject matter. the movie can end well for him and her, if it is marketed well.