Double Barrel (Mal): Movie Review - A Strange Experiment
On Aug 31, 2015
|Right from the time director Lijo Jose Pellissery announced “Double Barrel”, it has been an eagerly awaited movie. The stellar cast and the striking posters created much hype to the wait.
Ever since the release of the teasers and the trailer of the movie, one was left wondering what the movie was going to deal with. In a way, it was a strict warning beforehand that “Double Barrel” is going to be anything but conventional.
Also, a disclaimer at the start of the movie proclaims that logic has no role whatsoever in the scheme of things that one was about to witness. It looks like the director was hoping that such warnings would serve the purpose of provoking the audience to watch the movie with a large and open mind. This is an extremely demanding proposition for the average moviegoer and it doesn’t come as a surprise that the movie hasn’t enjoyed a great patronage after its release.
There is nothing much to write about the plot because it is yet another non-existent entity in the movie. The centre of attention is a pair of precious diamond stones which is said to fetch a fortune in the market – Laila and Majnu.
“Double Barrel” traces the journey of this pair of stones, a journey which involves a lot of players; from Pancho (Prithviraj) and Wincy (Indrajith) to the Billy gang (led by Vijay Babu) and a host of other recognizable as well as foreign faces.
It is not the absence of a proper story or the rich doze of nonsense that plays spoilsport here, but the inability of the makers to communicate to the viewers their intention behind making the movie. With never-ending action sequences as well as purposeless songs, the movie runs for about 160 minutes, evoking a feeling of tedium in the viewer. Poor characterizations add to the confusion.
The movie has the director’s stamp all over it. For people who have seen Lijo Jose Pellisery's previous ventures, it is hardly surprising that he chose to experiment, yet again. Though his previous experiments produced quality results, luck is not on his side time around. In a recent interview with a newspaper, Pellisery had said that he is a big fan of comic books and that this movie is reminiscent of a comic book. Yes, “Double Barrel’’ has the flavour of a comic strip but the way the quirks translates onto screen doesn’t manage to evoke enough laughs.
“Double Barrel” lines up an ensemble cast, all of whom look outlandish, courtesy the script. The notable performances come from the duo of Vinod Jose and Arya and the group of Africans. They manage to tickle your funny bone whenever they get to show their heads on screen. Sunny Wayne as the sharp shooter is another actor whose presence intrigues you.
What endears the audience is the way the movie has been shot. The settings as well as the costumes of the cast are brightly colourful and illuminates the eyes of the viewer. Abhinandhan Ramanujan’s cinematography is plush and is, without a doubt, the highlight of the movie.
Having said all this, I still personally believe that a lot of negative criticism that is aired about the movie is unwarranted. Yes, it is quite an arduous task sitting through it. In general, Malayalam cinema hasn’t had a great time of late, churning out run-of-the-mill movies by the day. What distinguishes “Double Barrel’’ from the other movies which manage to test your tolerance despite working on tried and tested formulae is the fact that it puts your patience to test in a completely novel way! Here, at least, my curiosity was sustained till the final scene.
If you are a viewer who doesn’t mind watching experimental movies, then “Double Barrel” is a movie you should watch at least on DVD or in television if not in a cinema hall. As for others, stay away!