What all are your expectations, when you are on to a film with Jayaram playing the sole hero. Yes, you all expect to bump into our hero amidst a family of financial difficulties, trying ways to find solace from his distress by masquerading and attempting different routes, finally landing into more troubles. Rajbabu's 'Ulagam Chuttum Vaaliban' is another such tale with all that Jayaram ingredients, nothing more...nothing less.
The movie has Jayaram as Jayashankar, from a silent hamlet of Krishnapuram. Living a happy life as a wholesale vegetable vendor, with his mother and only sister Kalyani(Mithra kurien), his only big dream is to somehow marry off his sister to a good family. But as a bag with his ten lakhs is suddenly lost, Jayashankar is required to move on to the city to meet Sethuraman(Suraj venjaaramoodu), his distant relative and richest man in his family, to borrow some big money to make a return to his peaceful life.
And when Jayashankar lands into the city, he bumps into the TV channel presenter Varsha(Vandana) and her brother Saajan Joseph, the circle inspector of police. Jayashankar also finds that his relative Sethu is running a big gang of pickpockets and petty thugs with the support of the local MLA Brahmadathan. Jayashankar is forced to join the gang, learns the tricks from the professional trainers in the circuit and emerge a big player in a few days. But everything goes upside down for Jayashankar as he is selected for the Sub Inspector Post, for which he had applied quite a few years back. The movie follows the life of Jayashankar, now an expert thief who suddenly starts his police life in the same station of Thrikkara, where he had been roaming free as the master pickpocket.
'Ulkam Chuttum Vaaliban' definitely has an interesting plot line and boasts of a few endearing moments, but the outcome is plain and simplistic. Director Rajbabu seems to be stuck in the masala potboilers of nineties but times have changed, Mr. Director. Also, the writing by Krishna poojappura is quite inconsistent; it involves you at a few places, but is inducing yawn most of the times and is a tad long at two hours and forty minutes. The only aspect that's amusing are the sequences involving Biju Menon and his son with an acerbic tongue. Some of the gags are genuine, but they are few and far in between. The movie has four songs, which all pop up at the wrong moments and are a total letdown, with the attempts on the visuals of the songs failing miserably to evoke laughter. .. Having said that, it's also true that the movie is better towards the latter reels, than its former half. Cinematography by Anandhakuttan is also just up to the mark.
Talking of performances, Jayaram as usual, is dependable in a role that he had been to umpteenth times. Biju Menon once again sparkles in his shorter role as a stupid CI, who is more concerned about his beauty and personality. The ladies in the frame including Vandhana and Mithra kurien look graceful but don't get ample scope to display their emoting abilities. While Sureshkrishna as the MLA Duttan is in another regular villainous mould, the rest of the cast consisting of the comic faces of Mollyood including Suraj, Salimkumar and kalabhavan Shajon tries to evoke mirth with little success.
On the whole, this old fashioned 'Ulagam Chuttum Vaaliban' doesn't travel with a perfect route and is often directionless, with a few funny moments. In the B.O., the holidays ahead may help its prospects at the big cities essentially, but in the villages it will be dull.