Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ali Bhai – Review

Posted by Admin On August - 27 - 2007

Mohanlal as a mass hero, a ‘la’ Rajnikanth is a formula that was evolved by director Shaji Kailas (Aaran Thamburan, Narasimham, Nattu Rajavu, Baba Kalyani), and the star’s most trusted man Antony Perumbavoor, who has produced most of them. Now the combo is back with Ali Bhai, where they once again try to rework the old magic, but is wildly off the mark. Sample the hero introductory scene- The villain, a mean thug has hijacked a private bus in busy Kozhikode market road, and is shouting and baying for the blood of the hero. The noise made by a Bullet motorcycle can be heard in the distance and our super hero’s brown leather sandals is shown in close up, as he jumps on to the footboard of the speeding bus. Next shot is the relief and joy shown on the passengers face, as they see our hero the ‘ good guy’ clad in white starched ‘Mundu’ and shirt with sleeves rolled up.
Meanwhile the bad guy has not spotted his nemesis, and by the time he recognizes, it’s too late as he receives a flying kick! Our hero kicks the villain with such force that he flies through the air, shatters the front windscreen of the bus and crashes his head and breaks the windscreen of a car parked in front!! All this is accompanied by deafening background score screaming- “Ali Bhai. Ali Bhai….”, as the camera freezes in on Mohanlal twirling his moustache (Meesa Piriyal act) and looking up and winking at the bus driver( a cameo by Antony Perumbavoor), who shows the thumbs up sign!
Welcome, to Mohanlal’s mass masala action movie strictly meant for his legion of fans and the crass festival audiences. Don’t look for reason, logic or story, as the film is all about Mohanlal’s ‘heroism’ and interaction with his mass viewers, and most of the time he directly talks to the camera! Today audiences in Kerala just want to have a good time by watching Mohanlal, the one-man entertainment troupe than seeing a film which has a storyline and human emotions.
Ali Bhai (Mohanlal) is the uncrowned king of Palayam market in Kozhikode. He is the savior of the poor and downtrodden in the market (Cochin Haneefa, Jagadish, Shammi Thilakan, Ganesh, Sooraj Venjaranmoodu, Vijaya Kumar, Sudhish, K.P.A.C Lalitha, Zeenat etc). Two girls in the market, the flower seller Chenthamarai (Navya Nair) and a tea shop assistant Ganga (Gopika) are crazy about Ali Bhai, but he has no time for love as he is obsessed with taking up and fighting people’s causes.
Ali Bhai has a past and the devils from his childhood Sundaresan Thambi (Siddique) and Dan Abraham (Aryaman), another guy who want to drive him out of the market, and build a mall there are hand in glove with the local administrators who are after his blood. After they plant a bomb and kill many of his friends and supporters, Ali Bhai goes after them single handedly and becomes the demolition man.
All mass movie elements are packed into the 2 hours 20 minute film, which moves at a rapid pace. Mohanlal’s punch line: Bejarakathe Koya, is told with a Kozhikodan accent. The climax fight scene (in Binny Mills, Chennai when Mohanlal got injured) with the main villain has been superbly picturised by stunt master Super Subbarayan. On the downside, the music of Alex Paul is a let down, with not even one catchy song that is usually there in a Mohanlal mass masala. And one of the mass songs picturised on the beach with the entire star cast is a repeat of an earlier Mohanlal film song with similar dance movements choreographed by the same dance master Dinesh. And there is no romantic relief from the relentless action all around or any kind of comedy from the superstar.
Go for Ali Bhai only if you are a die-hard fan of Mohanlal, otherwise there is little to cheer about.

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