V K Prakash is the one director who with his all technical finesse couldn't make one big hit in Mollywood, mainly due to the inane scripts that was offered to him. But this time in 'Gulumal-The Esacape', he seems to have opted for a safer route. He faithfully remaked the Argentinean movie by Fabian Bielinsky 'Nueve Reinas'(Nine Queens),a comedy caper, thereby offering a rollercoaster ride in all its richness and quality and even sticking to the original in its acting credentials. And the result is an entertaining stuff, with stylish and crazy entertainment that won't give you much time to think in its 140 minutes ride.
A cat and mouse game about two conman Ravi Varma (Kunchakko Boban) and Jerry (Jayasuriya), the movie offers surprising twists in regular intervals that are highly engaging. As Ravi Varma needs a few lakhs of money in a short notice, to get his father out of the jail, he befriends Jerry - a bigger criminal and adorns him as his guru. They accidentally get into a big deal about selling a fake copy of the drawings of Raja Ravi Varma, to an immensely rich NRI Emir (Devan), making him believe that it is original. Getting an offer of a three crores for the painting, they are now into anything to push off the deal and thus make easy money. There is a funny parallel track of Suraj Venjaramoodu and Bijukuttan, playing cops from Anti Terrorist Squad, now running stupidly after the pranksters to create some slapstick, which is utilized wisely in between.
The highlight of the movie is the intense believability that each viewer will feel about the proceedings, even though in an utopian storyline. Unlike the non-conventional thrillers, this journey of double-crosses is embellished with enough twist and turns. Y.V Rajesh's scripts, his way of adapting to the Indian context and especially the dialogues are so natural that it don't gives an air of alienation to an average viewer. And the truly spectacular turnaround, is the climax that holds the entire narratives in such a way that every one will start a journey back from then on in our own minds.
Performance keeps the mood of the movie alive. Among the two leads, it is a role to cherish for Jayasuriya, who has given his best efforts to sound sincere. He was so powerful in the maneuvers that the viewers truly started to dislike him. And for Kunchakko Boban, it is a safe role to reland. And the trick that has worked out is their brilliant camaraderie that had given much life to the sequences. Debutantes' heroine, Mithra Kurien, who plays Jayasurya's sister and Kunchakko's love interest, is a prodigy to look for in future. Suraj Venjaramoodu and Bijukuttan are once again in the familiar turfs of buffoonery and mimicking scenes from films like 'Keerthi Chakra' and so on, which elicits laughter occasionally.
In the technical front, the movie is finer with good visuals from debutante camerawomen Fouzia Fathima. Mahesh Narayan's sharp cuts and edit effects give adequate pace to the proceedings. But the downer is Manu Rameshan's songs, of which the 'Gulumal' song is the only one that stands apart. The background scores are ok but there is definite poor selection of voices in the other songs.
There are some popping questions about time frames, that may question your cerebrum. But for an unstoppable flow of brilliantly witty one-liners, with a few of the gags, keep your brains locked up for those two hours in the theatre and you might well love this Gulumal'.