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Twenty : 20 Review

Reviewing Twenty Twenty is not so easy. If you go to view the film with realistic expectations, you are not likely to be disappointed. But with so many stars coming together, so big a canvas and two scenarists who till date have delivered only mediocre entertainers, your expectations would be rather low. The fact however is that the film has turned out to be better than what one would have expected. Unless of course, you are a very serious art film buff - in which case you'll find the film very, very disappointing.

Produced by Dileep's Graand Production for AMMA, the Joshiy-directed Twenty Twenty begins from where retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Viswanatha Menon returns home, hoping to spend the remainder of his life in peace and tranquility. But things don't work out the way he planned. His grandson Arun, studying in Bangalore, is suspected of murder, and soon Antony Punnekaadan IPS, the dare-all Superintendent of Police, who has concrete reasons to be hostile to Viswanatha Menon's family, comes seeking Arun.

Arun, who has gone into hiding, is nabbed by Antony. Then comes Ramesh Nambiar, one of the most sought-after criminal lawyers in the country. Ramesh saves Arun from being convicted, only to see him murdered soon after. Antony Punnekaadan reportedly nabs the murderer, red-handed. Devarajan, a dealer in spices is charged with the murder.

Things take such a turn that it's Ramesh Nambiar once again who comes in as the defence attorney, but this time to save the person who is accused of murdering the very guy whom he had saved earlier. Ramesh Nambiar has reasons to believe that Devarajan is innocent and so he fights it out in court and saves the latter. Minutes later, even before leaving the court premises, Ramesh Nambiar comes face to face with a totally different Devarajan, who introduces himself as Devaraja Pratapa Varma. From here the story takes a new turn.

If Mammootty as Ramesh Nambiar is simply stunning, Mohanlal, as Devaraja Pratapa Varma, is even so. Suresh Gopi, as can be expected, does the role of Antony Punnekaadan IPS with aplomb. Jayaram is comfortable as Dr. Vinod Bhaskar, a character that he portrays in his typical style. Dileep, who hitherto had been projected as one of the key players in the film, in fact has only a small role - that of Karthik Varma, the younger brother of Devaraja Varma. But he has played that role in his characteristic style, with his special brand of humour that had endeared him to the masses. All the supporting actors (there are far too many to name names) do their roles well.

Coming to the actresses, it must be said that Meera Jasmine has turned out to be the luckiest of them all, simply because of not being there in the film at all. In a film that obviously is made to project the heroes and to pamper their fans, heroines end up as mere appendages, with hardly anything to do. While Kavya Madhavan is wasted in an insignificant cameo role, Nayantara is brought in just for a song that fails to impress us in any way. Gopika too has nothing to do. It's Bhavana alone who has some sort of a role to play in the story. (Let's hope AMMA thinks of making a movie for the actresses too).

Of the young brigade, only Indrajith (who plays Arun) has got a character worth mentioning. Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Kunchacko Boban etc, whose names are mentioned in the cast, are just there for namesake, appearing in a song and vanishing as soon as the song ends.

Coming to the technical aspects, it's difficult to find fault with the cinematography, editing or art-work, all of which suit the over-all mood and tempo of the film. But the songs fail to make much impact. Background score by Rajamani deserves special mention.

Coming to the scenarists, Udayakrishna and Sibi K. Thomas ought to be appreciated for seeing to it that both Mammootty and Mohanlal get equal weightage and that their fans are satisfied. The scenarists are to be appreciated also for having created for Suresh Gopi a character that suits his image and calibre. But they cannot be forgiven for having worked out a script that promotes only the super-stars and totally neglects the others. And they deserve to be pitied for coming up with so mediocre a storyline, given such a big star cast. But on the other hand, what kind of a story can you come up with, when anybody who is anybody in Malayalam cinema is to have a role in it? They need to be appreciated for coming up with something that could accommodate them all - even though the accommodation for the most part is third rate.

Though director Joshiy has made many memorable films, Twenty Twenty is a film that doesn't for a single moment feel like one of his creations. It's a film made for the stars and their die-hard fans. So, if you are a fan of one of the stars or of film stars in general, Twenty Twenty is good for a watch. You may also like to watch the movie simply for the novelty of seeing so many stars come together in a single film. Otherwise Twenty Twenty is no great shakes. 


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