College Kumaran: Mohanlal, Thulasidas Film

College Kumaran is a Malayalam film released in 2008 directed by Thulasidas starring Mohanlal and Vimala Raman.

Cast and Crew

Language: Malayalam
Genre: Drama | Comedy
Banner: Fairy Queen Productions
Director: Thulasidas
Producer: Benzy Martin
Story, Screenplay, Dialogue: Suresh Poduval
Cinematography: Venugopalan
Lyrics: Shibu Chakravarthy
Music: Ouseppachan
Distribution: Emil & Eric Digital Films Release
Release: 31 January 2008
Sound Mix: DTS
Runtime: 140 Mins
Certification: U
Cast: Mohanlal, Vimala Raman, Shamna, Aswathi, Harisree Asokan, Janardanan, Balachandra Menon, Siddique, Nedumudi Venu, Vijayaraghavan, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Jagannatha Varma, Rizabawa, Kiran Raj, Babu Nampoothiri, Mukundan, T.P. Madhavan, Saiju Kurup, Saiju Kurup, Kochupreman

Thulasidas' College Kumaran is a significant study on banality. Yawn inducing and extremely stale, it is at times dumb, at times absurd and at others terribly hackneyed.

Captain Sreekumar (Mohanlal) is a man of myriad talents. He does run a canteen on the Mahatma College campus, but with his imposing ways could easily be mistaken for its Principal or a Manager. Essentially a students' hero, there is hardly any quarter around where his gaze and influence does not reach. He takes note of a wide array of learner issues and pertinently suggests solutions, memorizes countless numerals like a real intellectual geek, locks horns with the fresh English lecturer, Madhavi (Vimala Raman), competently executes a few daredevil feats on a mountain bike, diligently lectures on nothing less than Julius Caesar and the fall of Pompey, and valiantly assails the Minister of Education (Siddique) who in turn, has sinister designs in mind. He finds himself stranded on the crossroads soon, when an inadvertent mishap costs him a few innocent lives. Determined to set scores straight, a resolute Kumaran leaves no stones unturned as he takes on his adversaries with brain and brawn.

Suresh Pothuval, the scrip writer, unlike his demigod hero, demonstrates limited facility. He bites off quite a lot more than he can chew and ends up with a goner of a script that attempts to create marvels out of a dead vacuum. Perhaps it could be forgiven that it's hideously corny, but it's unbelievably banal and passé as well. In a frantic attempt to link affairs together, the script takes a nosedive and disappears into oblivion. The hilarity that it attempts to generate is tedious and the emotional overtones blandly fake.

Mohanlal fumbles around on an unsure ground; he isn't sure if he's the master or the martyr, the star or the saint, the rogue or the romantic, the paladin or the protector. He is dumbfounded by the inanity of the events around him and lets himself be shoved left and right dejectedly. The tagline that he's made to holler every unfortunate now and then is pretty much a curt statement on the gloomy state of affairs. He does spring to life on rare junctures and offers us sparkling glimpses of the fantastic actor that he is and the irresistible charm; but the occasions are few and far between. Vimala Raman looks pretty as a picture and sports a sneer throughout as if she clearly knew what lay in the offing.

It's appalling to see commercial cinema remaining ever so formulaic. The core of it all is totally repetitive, flat and utterly forgettable. The comic relief offered by Suraj Venjarammod (who gets to utter a real offensive double innuendo) and Harisree Ashokan is less funny and more annoying. It's no wonder that in the wholly chaotic state of affairs they disappear without a trace.

The movie does have some mildly amusing moments that flit by faster than a torpedo. Everything about it has either been done or seen before and it doesn't much require a brainwave to see where it's all inevitably headed. If it were not for an actor like Mohanlal, it would have languished forever in the cans. There is no virtue or value, no stuff or soul in this film that is crammed with bad plot gears from the onset to the finish.

Flawed direction is only one of the numerous woes that plague the film. Technically College Kumaran is a shoddy film that reveals sloppier production values. It has a laid-back feel to it, that's unmistakably crass. That it has been in the making for quite a while could be seen as a reasonable apologia to the jaded air. I would gladly grant it to Ouseppachan for coming up with a few lilting tunes that sporadically perk up an otherwise foul feel that lingers all over.

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