Welcome to the crazy, funny and outlandish world of 'China town'for this vacation season. The much hyped movie from Rafi-Mecartin and Aashirwaad films, with the best of the comic timers of Mollywood - Mohanlal, Jayaram and Dileep works out to their name in the former half, but the poor second half and a half baked script with poor making mar the prospects of the movie from becoming a big hit.
The movie opens with a flashback of 1986, planted in Goa where four friends- Xavier, David, Jayakrishnan, Gomez and their family are leading a happy life, running a casino. But a drug dealer turned politician, Gowda plays foul and kills three of the friends while their children lead by Gomez somehow manages to escape from the land. Twenty five Years later, Gomez (Captain Raju) is now back to Goa to teach Gowda a lesson and to gift the children of his friends with the ownership a new casino. For that he manages to bring together Xavier's son Mathukutty,(Mohanlal) who is now a known goonda at Idukki, and Jayakrishanan's son Binoy , a hyper romantic drunkard with David's son Zakharaia who is ready to do anything for money. More over, Gomez also secretly informs the police about the drugs stock in the casinos owned by Gowda, leading to continuous raids in later's warehouses and loss of around hundred crores of stuff. The movie takes a different route as Gowda who is contesting the elections accidentally identities the three youngsters as his former enemy's sons.
To give the credit where it's due, most of the jokes in the former half involving Mohanlal, Dileep and Jayaram brings a smile on your face, with the opening reels emerging swift and racy.And by the interval, you smell a big hit like the duo's former 'Hello'.But the problem with the movie is that the direction and treatment are inconsistent and uneven - energetic at times; lack luster at places and treats the viewer like a nitwit, with zero brains. The attitudes seems to be that, no-brainier comedies have worked and this one will work too. The characters are cardboardish and one dimensional with jokes and the goings-on that may appear silly. But as long as one feels positive and wears smiles even after the show, nothing else seems to matter. Remember, 'China Town' is never meant to be a thinking man's film.The absence of a tight screenplay which largely refreshes itself from English mvoie 'Hangover', makes the film fall like a pack of cards.There are no more surprises in the later half which becomes pretty predictable, with a climax that is logicless and weak.
In the acting side, Mohanlal is once again in his comic best repeating the fares again. There's no saturation point as far as the timing and acting ease of this actor is concerned. He just holds your attention in every sequence, irrespective of how strong or wreak the scene is. Even the small dialogues like 'Ente don glass' bring the house down with chuckles. Jayaram complements Lal in most of the scenes, with his best line in the movie being the varied tones of 'Ninte mole' in the phone sequences with the state minister. Dileep appears good in the former half, mimic the popular drunkard comedies of 'Ayyapa baiju' most of the times, but in the later half he fails to evoke any interest. Suraj, as usual, has some good scene stealers, and is much better than his recent outings. The meatier scenes are all reserved for man, with the ladies led by kavya having nothing more to do than appear pretty and walk around.
In the technical side, Azhakkappan's camera work aptly supplements the festive mood of Goa and the narratives, and so is the editing by Don Max. The visual effects in the songs and sequences also needs special mention.But the amateur works of the art director in many sequences and poor selection of costumes for many artists fails to bring in the chic feel that Lal's previous flicks like 'Chottamumbai' remarkably displayed. The songs by Jassie Gift are up to the moods of the films with the pick being 'Arikil ninnalum ', but Rafi-Mecartin's picturisation of 'Aaraunu koottu' was the best. The rerecording by Rajamani failed to make any impact.
On the whole, 'Chinatown' has a thoroughly entertaining first hour, but the weak writing in its post-interval portions asking you to leave-your-brains-at-home prevents the movie from becoming an altogether appreciable work.At the Box Office, the movie will have a very good first week, but the subsequent weeks will need heavy promotions to sail through. Anyhow, 'China Town' is prescribable for a one time watch, much to enjoy the comic timing of its lead cast.