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'Lanka', a letdown for Suresh Gopi fans - Lanka Review
By Paresh C. Palicha, Indo-Asian News Service
Film: "Lanka"; Cast: Suresh Gopi and Mamata Mohandas; Writer-director: A.K. Sajan; Producer: Santosh Damor; Music: Sreenivas and Rajesh Jayamohan
Suresh Gopi's career, alas, appears to be almost over. Seeing audiences leave the theatre after watching just a fraction of his new film "Lanka" doesn't give rise to optimism about the future of the actor who is desperately trying to regain his lost glory.
Gopi, who had given us some hope with his comeback movie "Bharathchandran IPS", has been on a downward spiral since then.
"Lanka" promised a lot to his fans, but has failed miserably in keeping its promise. Gopi in the role of an Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) veteran with a flirtatious tendency belies all raised expectations within the first 15 minutes.
His is an ill-defined character with villainous traits - a wealthy womanizer settled in Colombo and on the hit list of Sri Lankan Tamil extremists. Gopi, in his unbuttoned shirts and his shorts cannot lure the audience.
The fault lies in director A.K. Sajan's approach.
The film is virtually immobile and static, as if it were a theatrical production. There is no movement in location or the scenes. Everything happens through dialogue, which eventually gets on one's nerves.
There is hardly anything in the story to talk about.
Indian army veteran Sravan (Gopi) bears the scars of a disturbed childhood with an actress mother and a tycoon father who had literally disowned him. His wife ditches him for a younger man and a young daughter pops up in the second half.
He has seven castles in Colombo with seven female housekeepers of different nationalities ranging from a Sudanese to a Sri Lankan Tamil. Sravan has a relationship with each of them but his favourite is Lanka (Mamata Mohandas), the Sri Lankan.
Remember the plot is built through dialogues and conversations. The twist in the plot: Lanka is here seeking revenge for the atrocities Sravan had committed against her family.
The film thereafter revolves around the two characters only and there is hardly any action or anything lively to hold our interest.
The picturisation suffers from a Mani Ratnam hangover, with a "Dil Se" kind of flavour. But the director botches it up by making it in the claustrophobic confines of just one bungalow.
Mamata Mohandas has nothing exceptional to do other than showing lots of oomph. She has liberally copied Shobhana's performance in "Manichitratazhu" when she has to show anger.
Our hearts go out to Gopi, if not to Sravan or "Lanka".