Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Producer: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Santhosh Sivan, Arya, Shaji Nadesan
Production Co: August Cinema India Pvt Ltd, Amen Movie Monastery
Music Director: Prashant Pillai
Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Arya, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Sunny Wayne, Sajid Yahiya, Vijay Babu, Isha Sharvani, Parvathi Melton, Swathy Reddy, Vinod Chemban, Rachana Narayanankutty, Pearle Maaney
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s ‘Double Barrel’ certainly qualifies for a spoof, and one wonders if its intention was to engrave itself as the first gangster spoof ever in Malayalam. The film however comfortably snuggles into the alien territory, fires a few rounds and makes its presence felt. Well, that’s as far as it gets.
Being a self-confessed admirer of the Lijo brand of film making, I should say ‘Double Barrel’ was a shot totally off the mark for me. As much as I admire the film maker’s efforts to try his hand at diverse genres, ‘Double Barrel’ shoots plenty of blanks and tries hard to be funny before running out of ammunition in no time.
I’m certainly not against spoofs, or gangster spoofs for that matter, and was all set to get fired at, when ‘Double Barrel’ springs a surprise on me, by coming up with a tale that goes leaden within minutes. And then ensues the one hundred and sixty minute long gun fire that would simply stop at nothing and which serves no other purpose other than deafening your ears.
There is the disclaimer right at the beginning that this happens to be a film devoid of any logic. Granted. Another disclaimer follows that the foreigners in it will be fluent in Malayalam. Promising. You cannot then really blame the viewer for bracing up for some hardcore laughter that shockingly never arrives.
And it is this fatal flaw that could prove detrimental to any spoof – low laughter warning – that makes ‘Double Barrel’ a royal yawn. There are very few sequences in it that will have you in splits, and the script despite its very earnest endeavours barely manages to come up with little more than a few amusing moments.
So it’s about these two stones – Laila and Majnu – that cost a fortune, and of how they flit from one person to the next, until they all converge in a cemetery and decide to throw a few grenades at each other. There are plenty involved in the fray, with Pancho (Priithviraj) and Wincy (Indrajith) in the lead, and with Billy (Vijay Babu), Sweety (Isha Sherwani) and scores of others loitering around. There is another track that involves a real life Laila (Swathi Reddy) and Majnu (Arya) that kicks the daylights out of you by being horrifically humdrum.
The(only) two characters whom once could possibly relate to are the He (Asif Ali) and She (Pearle Manney) who are dumbstruck by the proceedings around. This is because the confounded viewers are no different, and keep their fingers crossed for some hilarity to come their way. Silent (Sunny Wayne), the sniper, aims left, right and centre, while the kid squeaks his toy right on your face. Gotcha!
It’s sad that Lijo’s concept of a comic book film that takes a dig at every tried and tested chestnut in gangster films doesn’t turn out as stirring as it was meant to be. At the end of it all as I cough my way out of the smoke that remains in the halls, let me thank Diesel (Chemban Jose) and the unnamed African actor who bellows in chaste Malayalam for the little mirth that was offered.
The stunning frames that Abhinandan Ramanujan has come up that build up a Tarantinoesque air, are totally lost in this melee, and Prasanth Pillai’s musical score is jammed in at the most mistimed moments. ‘Double Barrel’ sends the spoof genre on a downward spiral with a relentlessly unexciting script. Real crazy indeed. Wham- Damn- Bam.
1.5 out of 5 (Poor, A Few Good Parts)