When reviewers observe that there are dearth of good story lines in Mollywood, little will anyone expect about two multi-starrer big budgeters made almost at the same time in similar story lines and with same actors.
Yes, the much discussed theme of sexual abuse and day to day stories that catch the lead in the headlines definitely offer different perspectives and backdrops for such a theme. But here debutant director N R Sanjeev and veteran scriptwriter S N Swamy have gone for lesser experiments, that finally result in another rehash of the thread of the recent movie 'Vairam', with less dissimilarity, the primary one being the presence of Superstar Mohanlal. Indeed it is a definite highlight, like the differences that may happen in a Bombay IPL team 'with' and 'without' Tendulkar.
The movie opens with Viswanathan (Suresh Gopi), and his friends Monayi (Biju Menon) and Palani (Harisree Asokan), who have committed three murders, laboring to flee from the cops, who are trying to grab them at several check points. They, with the help of the son of the home minister and daughter of city police commissioner are trying to reach ace lawyer Soorya Narayanan (Mohanlal), their only saving angel. And when they reach his home on an eventful night, a bunch of goons and the police try to dissuade the lawyer from hearing the tragic story about Viswanathan's teenage daughter who was gang raped and brutally murdered by a group consisting of an influential businessman, a dirty ACP and a young DJ. Dr.Rani who treated the girl at the hospital to get her out of the coma, also comes up with certain crucial revelations which makes Soorya Narayanan decide to stay firm in the side of righteousness.
The movie, though with a repeated story heavily inspired from movies like 'Time to kill' manages to stick to its happenings that unleashes in a time span of around 20 hours, with a few flashbacks. The movie told in a thriller format (rather than the emotional aspects that was the highlight of 'Vairam') has its focus dwindling between the brainy lawyer and the shattered, subdued father. Both the actors handle their roles with remarkable ease, with Suresh Gopi utilising another best of the chances, to portray the character's agony in a few intense scenes.
Though the later half is predictable with no real tension about what the outcome is going to be, enough interesting side-issues going on helps the debutant director with no fear of a viewer losing interest. On a comparison with 'Vairam', 'Janakan' losses big on the intensity levels (there the focus is fixed on the role of Pashupathy, the aggrieved father who is offered ample space to portray his breakdown and move on for an emotionally pitted revenge). By placing the lawyer as the only man who can change the lives of any big murderers, by even summoning the biggest power barons before him as if in a mock court, only the heroics of the character is boosted rather than the impact of the message that it intended to send through. The climax also leaves much more to be expected. The minister's son and the commissioner's daughter in paper-thin characterizations with no real manifestations of any big stubborn nature, is one of the pitfalls in scripting.
Apart from the superstar lead, Jyothirmayi, Biju Menon and Harishree Ashokan does their smaller parts convincingly, but it is Vijayaraghavan who steals the show in at least a few sequences. The family of Viswanathan played by Kaveri and a fresh face doesn't have the camaraderie that the family in Vairam has displayed. The technical side of the movie is in tune with the merits of the narratives, though editor G Murali could have used his scissors a little more strictly. The only song in the movie rendered by Rajalekshmy offers good hearing.
Anyhow ' Janakan' is a movie that may not bore you as it sticks to its platform, most of the times and has its heart almost at the right place. The movie may be a novice to most as vary few would have come up to the cinema halls to lap up the other movie in discussion 'Vairam'. With a relevant message and above average narratives, 'Janakan' may find needed audiences, to end up as a safer movie at the Box Office.