Friday, June 21, 2024

Swale – Review

Posted by Admin On November - 2 - 2009

Cinematographer turned director P.Sukumar’s Swantham Lekhakan or Staff Reporter is perhaps based on a decent premise. But with some definite prejudices underlying, lackluster performances from everyone involved and in the absence of even a half-baked script, it turns out to be a rather painful experience that treads along without any definite direction.

The focus of the story is its protagonist, Unni Madhavan (Dileep), a local reporter of an average selling daily, who is struggling hard to find enough time to focus on his job or to take care of his pregnant wife and in the end, mess things up on both fronts. His wife Vimala (Gopika) had married him without the consent of her parents and the couple has virtually no one to help them.

The news editor of Janachintha, where Unni is working, sends him to the house of eminent writer Palazhi Sivasankara Pillai (Nedumudi Venu), who is on his deathbed. During his childhood days, Unni was close to the writer and now, he and his group of fellow journalists are waiting at Palazhi’s house to report his death, the moment it happens.

The story of a reporter happening two decades back during those times when mobile phones, news channels and modern technology had not made things what it is now, seems to be a nice backdrop. But the real challenge is to make it into an imaginative script with some substance.

No such luck here and worse still, there seems to be a confusion regarding whether the story is to be treated in a humorous way or on serious lines. In the end, it neither entertains nor makes any sense.

With the role posing no challenges whatsoever, Dileep looks just fine as Unni Madhavan and has nothing to do other than what he has done until now. But it’s rather silly of him to mimic news anchors and the sort, which is usually done by less talented clones in numerous programmes and even in films. Gopika is wasted in a rather meek role and she often overdoes the pregnancy parts at times.

The rest of the cast has limited roles and actors like Jagathy Sreekumar, Innocent, Salim Kumar and Harisree Asokan hams it up, making things irritating to the core. The visuals are fine and the music is good, but the editor could have done a better job. Or how else do you explain the ridiculous scene involving Salim Kumar as a photographer and a newly married couple that goes on and on, without an end?

With no honesty or passion, the makers have botched a nice thread that shows promise as a one-liner. Remember films like Page 3, where the life of a journalist has been shown quite brilliantly. Some of the buffoonery in those mimicry-shows could have more substance than this languid farce!

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