"Natturajavu", megastar Mohanlals to his fans, is disappointing. When he teamed up with director Shaji Kailas, expectations had touched the sky. The duo produced one of the biggest grosser in the history of Malayalam cinema, "Narasimham", a few years ago. The film confirmed Mohanlal's box-office appeal and strengthened his image as a superhuman feudal "themmadi" (rogue), single-handedly grinding his opponents to dust, created a decade ago in "Devaswaram" directed by I.V. Sasi.
Mohanlal has, time and again, tried to cash in on this image, with varying degrees of success.It is not that one did not expect Mohanlal to twirl his moustache, mouth catchy one-liners and beat up baddies by the dozen in the marketplace. But "Natturajavu" was expected to be different in style and content. Kailas has taken the skeleton of a story from "Narasimham" and given it a comparatively new writer, T.A. Shahid (author of "Balletten", a rare Mohanlal hit in recent times, where he plays a commoner), to put some flesh on.
The result but for slight changes in the backdrop, everything else remains the same.Meet Pulikattil Charlie a just, feudal owner of a quarry and a rubber estate fighting the enemies and demons his dead father Mathachan (Ramraj of "Pithamagan" fame) had created in his unscrupulous past. This can be termed as the character sketch of Mohanlal (as Charlie) as well as the one-line story of the film. Everything else is the same as in an usual Mohanlal film.
What the earlier, typical Mohanlal films like "Aaram Thampuran" and "Ravanaprabhu" scored on was a strong emotional core and powerhouse performance by the star himself. Both these factors are missing in "Natturajavu". Mohanlal looks as if he were bored with his straitjacket roles.Of the rest of the cast, Kalabhavan Mani and Janardhanan try to infuse some humour into the proceedings, but cannot lift the film beyond a level.
The young Nayanthara impresses in her role of a breezy, illegitimate child younger sister of Charlie. The other actors (including heroine Meena) pop up and vanish.Technically, too, "Natturajavu" dishes out pedestrian fare. Cinematography by Anandakuttan and editing by L. Bhoominathan have nothing special to offer.