Movie Review: China Town - Quite A Hangover (Mal)
On Apr 15, 2011
If one expects a humorous movie, then no one really cares about the logic. It should be one that will make you laugh. If that is so, the Vishu release from Rafi Mecartin - China Town – meets the expectations very well till the break but then the second half doesn’t live up to the billing and in the process breaks your heart.
The auspicious ‘Vishu Kani’ by Mohanlal and his team fails to impress. China Town was released at three cinemas in the city - Sri Kumar, Sri Vishak and Kairali. The hall that I went to was packed to the rafters. One more multi-starrer movie. In multiple cinema halls. With multiple expectations. And yes with Mohanlal, Jayaram and Dileep in lead roles, you would expect it to do well.
China Town begins with a story of four friends who run a gambling shop in Goa back in the 80s. Quite a sight to see Mohanlal with co stars of the 80s Shankar, Prem Navas, Capt. Raju gambolling in their bell bottoms and prancing in care-free hippy style. The flash back ends with a gross murder that ends their lives. But one of them survives along with their 3 sons.
No, no revenge this time when the kids grow up!
The survivor brings up the three kids – Lal, Jayaram and Dileep. Jayaram( as Zacharia) in an unusual gluttonous role played very well except for an awkward wig. Dileep (Binoy) a jobless Romeo gives a good performance. Mohanlal ( as Mathukkutti) is a wanna be ‘Don’. Kavya Madhavan plays Rosamma and she does a fair role except in a few scenes where the audience clearly voiced their displeasure. Whether she eventually becomes Lal’s lady love ... , well one has to watch the movie. The first half rocks with a lot of interesting scenes and the tempo is excellent.
In the second half, Captain Raju (survivor) brings these three sons to Goa - China Town - to give them back their gambling shop. The villain is still around – bigger and meaner. The slide begins somewhere here.
Someone told me that this movie was inspired by the Hollywood flick ‘Hangover’. But when I didn’t find any similarities till the interval and I expected him to be wrong. But the second half reminds me proved me wrong. Introduction of Ranjini and all the reality show contestants, probably was a touch unnecessary. The ‘Hangover’ influence gets stronger.
Music by Jassi Gift is passable, the editing and special effects are quite interestingly done. The inclusion of the Hangover story by the script writer( the director himself) is the biggest flaw in the movie. Suraaj is okay in the comic role but what extra comedy can he bring up when the film already has Mohanlal, Jayaram and Dileep?
If you can spend Rs40 and get out by the interval, the movie is worth watching. But if you are adamant, then watch at your risk. An excellent first half but a disappointing second. Wishing you a happy and prosperous Vishu!