Cast: Anoop Menon, Megna Raj,Jishnu, Shankar, Kailash
Direction: K. Madhu
Production: Stephen Pathickal
Senior director K Madhu is back with a fresher plot this time in ‘Banking Hours, 10-4”. The movie works much as a thriller and for its ability to hold the suspense till the very last minute. With a good premise and pacy narratives that unfolds in just 112 minutes, this Banking hours is worth your money, if you are not the type to dig large into the loopholes that are plenty in this hasty run.
The whole movie happens in a single location, inside a new generation bank named Lemo (interesting ‘in film ‘advertising with the bank named after the movie banner/producers)where there is plenty of space for refreshments and waiting, with packed security measures including surveillance cameras and modern gadgets. At 10.30 am, there are almost a hundred person inside, including 22 bank staffs, a father (Shankar)planning to take his daughter (Shafna) away to Wagamon as a secret hideout till her marriage, the girl’s lover(Munna) and his two friends waiting for a chance to elope with the girl, a tense man(Irshad) who is in hastier to draw a 2 crore to pay as ransom for his kidnapped child , a woman(LekshmiPriya) who is there for a gold loan of two lakhs to help his brother pay his education expenses, a group of youngsters(Arun, Nishanth Sagar &) planning to rob the bank, and four techies(Beyyone, VishnuPriya & friends) enquiring about a car loan and a bizarre looking priest(Ashokan). Into this crowded area where a lots of men wait to complete their transactions, arrives a born to riches playboy (Kailash)who is leaving to Australia, the very same day. As the burglar group is ready for the heist, the power supply suddenly goes off and when it’s back after a few seconds, its not the money that’s robbed but the life of one among the people. What follows is the clearing up of the mystery behind the entire episode by an I PS officer (Anoop Menon)and his men who were undercover on the bank when all these things happen.
Following the paths laid by S N Swamy, the specialists in the Mollywood suspense genre, the new writers of the movie Sumesh and Amal carefully run the sequences that ultimately lead to the murderer. In the meantime, lines of suspicion are directed to almost everyone in the frames, some of which appear interesting. Though the overall direction in the first half appear amateurish with the non linear narratives appearing heavy for the Molly wood senior, the later half picks up momentum and the experience of the director k Madhu shows off and helps this to end up as an interesting affair. But the area where the movie suffers much is its poor dialogues, pretty silly most of the time. The conversations between the police officials are more an area which evokes much unintended humour for its ridiculous constructions and feedback. And we feel that the hierarchy and protocols in such events are even not much cared about, in the attempts to bring in a racy entertainer. Also certain stories like that of the kidnapped child are not attended to in the climax.
The performances by the big cast are not bad though in the initial hours overly dramatic sequences pop up, mainly due to poor, cliched dialogues. Anoop Menon repeats his ‘Traffic Act’ with aplomb while Meghnaraj is handicapped by poorest lines ever offered to a police commissioner on business. Kailash, Beyonne, and Midhun are all good while some in the cast lines over act for the needed emotions. But with a big cast of 40 plus actors, the mandatory sequence of all of them waiting for that culprit and the investigator explaining the causes and trails are all shot intact.
The technical department is average while Rajamani’s BG scores are impressive.
If you are a fan of brainy entertainers that keep you guessing, (which may have loopholes that may not affect the pace of narratives), ‘Banking Hours,10-4’ may not disappoint you. Had the director cared a little more on the execution and taken pains to rewrite at least some of the dialogue part, these banking hours could have paid you big money.