After the disappointing “Calcutta News”, Blessy bounces back into some semblance of form with “Bhramaram”. Although “Bhramaram” is certainly not up to the high standards set by the director’s own “Kazhcha” and “Thanmatra”, it is nevertheless an interesting watch ably shouldered by a burly Mohanlal.
From the time Mohanlal (Jose albeit Sivankutty) lands up at stockbroker Unni’s doorstep at Coimbatore, there is an air of foreboding about “Bhramaram”. Lal’s furtive glances and expressions add to the suspense. The movie proceeds on more or less a familiar path, until that stage of the film which reveals that Unni is about to embark upon the journey of his life with Sivankutty – not exactly the most amenable of companions. It is post-intermission that the movie comes on to its own, and hurtles toward the inevitable tragic climax.
*** Spoilers ahead ***
“Bhramaram” falters mainly in its pace. For one, character development is long drawn, and not particularly effective. For instance, Blessy hammers in again and again the fact that Sivankutty loves kids (as if Mohanlal would play a paedophile in a mainstream Malayalam film). In a similar fashion, there is a completely unnecessary sequence involving a run-in with truck drivers – that whole segment ought to have been edited out. The first half of the film totters about with no real aim (except maybe to “tell” the audience again and again that Mohanlal is playing an eccentric, unpredictable character) while the second half is fairly eventful. Worst of all, the sudden “guilt-attack” and subsequent confession looks awfully forced and hurried – almost as if the producer cracked the whip or something! My gut tells me that “Bhamaram” would have worked awfully better as a true road move, with a firm editor holding the scissors. Bharathan’s “Thazhvarom” is an excellent example of a film in a similar genre being handled in a much more controlled manner.
In the end, it is once again Mohanlal who hoists the film to a different level altogether. His burly demeanor, furtive body language, and expressive eyes convey a lot more than most of his dialogues, making them redundant. Mohanlal gets completely into the skin of the eccentric Sivankutty, except during the silly flashback where everybody hams (especially the irritating kid). Suresh Menon does a good job – a very effective foil to Mohanlal.
Verdict: Mohanlal makes this a must-watch, especially as interesting movies from him seem to be becoming extinct.