Producer: Haseeb Haneef, Naushad Alathoor
Production Co: Grand Film Corporation
Music Director: Ouseppachan
Cast: Mammootty, Jewel Mary, Joy Mathew, Nandu, Sunil Sugatha, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Janardhanan, Indranse, Jayaprakash, Jayaraj Warrier, Joy Mathew, Nandu, Saju Navodaya, Sasi Kallinga, SP Sreekumar, Sudheer Karamana, T G Ravi, Tiny Tom, Sethulakshmi, Sreekala
It’s in the fictional hamlet of Krokrankara that Kamal sets his new film ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ on, where C P Swathanthran (Mammootty) has been striving hard to get the statue of his freedom fighter dad Parameshwara Pillai (Joy Mathew) installed in front of the Panchayat. Aiding him in his venture is his close associate Pindaani (Sreekumar), and when his strategies do not bear fruit as expected, Swathanthran and Pindaani move over to the Secretariat , where Swathanthran launches a fast to achieve his objective.
The social commentary in ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ lacks the sting that makes a satire enjoyable, and suffers from a slack narrative that is brought in by its nondescript script. There are instances galore in it where it seems like things have trailed off midway through, and where the narrative mode goes for a toss time and again.
The major hurdle in Swathanthran’s path to glory is the lack of a solid theme to dwell on, and the scenarist peripherally makes an observation on many a recognizable scene. It starts with the meeting at the Panchayat going off course, with a few bites here and there and finally a dishevelled member being laid out on the table.
The irony and sarcasm in the satire remains minimal, and the parody and ridicule serve little purpose. Very soon it becomes obvious that this is more of a personal journey; and when Swathanthran takes upon himself the tasks of setting the problems of his fellow-protestors at the Secretariat straight, the damage is complete.
Its only with a sense of disbelief that the climactic portions of ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ could be watched, since it becomes impossible to believe that these have been crafted by a director as Kamal. As Swathanthran discovers his true self, and emerges as the redeemer, ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ ends up in a no-man’s land at the end of the queasy trip that it had taken us on.
As much as it remains that a good satire has at its heart ethical reforms, it could have been pardonable that ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ achieves nothing o the sort. But where it miserably fails is when it does not succeed in making those vices laughable, or when none of the irony, wit or exaggeration that is expected of it is visible anywhere around.
It’s appalling that such non-events could make up a couple of hours of running time, and it seems impossible that most of it could have looked better even on paper. This is a film that demands more feeling and less of flash, but which on the other hand buries itself in some decrepit comedy buzz.
Mammootty comfortably allows himself to be relegated to the shade, and occupies his position as one among the crowd in this Utopia, as Swathanthran never does come across as a king. Sreekumar and a host of other supporting actors take over the reins of this film from him, with artistes as Sethulakshmi leading the way. Jewel Mary looks terrifically confident and states that she is here to stay.
‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ strikes us as a blur – with neither its intentions nor its ploys making any sense. Despite a talented cast and an intriguing premise that held promise, this is precisely why ‘Utopiyayile Rajavu’ gets little past the dopey, very -mildly-amusing movie mark.
2 out of 5 (Okay) 2 out of 5