I saw the Major Ravi directed movie Keerthichakra yesterday. It was a *good* movie and not anything great as is talked about. It was just another military movie, but intelligibly the best in Malayalam to date. It is the story of a few NSG commandoes, covering both their official and personal lives. One thing to notice is the ease with which the movie was directed, may be it was more natural for a military person to direct such an action film.
Mohanlal as Major Mahadevan was good in his looks with some grey whiskers (at last, someone showed it!). His performance was brilliant, despite the seemingly zaftig appearance. Jeeva as his sidekick Jai, played a more important character in the movie. He matched Mohanlal’s performance in all the sequences he appeared. The movie title belongs to him. The military operations were shot well with some fleet moves and life-like shootouts. But Malayalam movie makers need to understand one thing, that a movie is not all about fisting and thwacking the villain. There are no less than two occasions in the movie showing the NSG guards prefer their hands and legs rather than weapons to deal with the opposition, and such a thing decides the end of the movie in its climax. A continued gunplay would have been legitimate.
I still can’t figure out how Major Mahadevan got the impression of the destroyer of his family, by just one passive coup d’oeil! Some common aspects of such movies were well dragged into Keerthichakra also; like the chum saving his officer, some strange portents plus the dreams of some soldiers getting shattered etc. No great role for Lakshmi Gopalaswamy save one song, and for Biju Menon save a very few minutes. But the same time, the movie had its high spots too. The restrictions on soldiers’ moves, unnecessary involvement of human rights activists, story of some profligate vaunters in military, the sufferings and hopes of the militiamen and their families, the stings and pangs of the people in Kashmir, and how people are drawn into the so-called Jihad are well limned in the movie. The dialogues were impressive, the songs were good, the baddie was good, Gopika was good, and again, the direction was very good. Undoubtedly, the best such movie made in Malayalam thus far, despite the fizzles in some areas.
I would give the film 6 out of 10.