Continuing with the traits of his feel good family movies like 'Katha Parayumpol' and 'Manickyakallu' is M Mohanan's latest '916'.Another movie that deals with the age old theme of 'ego'tic relations and their aftermath, '916' but interests due to its different presentations and fine performances. But the movie's title is a perplexing one as it has nothing to do with the increasing demand of gold , but deals much with the purity of relations.
The movie focuses on the relationship between a single parent and his teenaged daughter. It has in its centre, Meera, a school going beautiful lass, who presents us with the rest around her life. And we are accessible to his father Harikrishnan, a ethical , altruist doctor who works in the government hospital in a quiet village and likes to serve the ordinary people than to run after big money. A divorcee living alone with his daughter and caretaker Aiyyappan(Nandhu), it is his daughter who makes his world and he deeply assumes that not a single thought can pass through her mind without him being acknowledged. Hari's close friend is Dr Ramesh(Mukesh) and his family, who works overtime to make big bucks.
The trouble starts brewing in the life of Hari, as her daughter starts seeing a guy named Prasanth(Asif ali) in an internet café. Slowly she starts getting suspicious phone calls and starts telling lies to his father. Hari smells something and soon finds Meera with Prasanth and in a bit of rage he slaps her. And the very next day finds his daughter missing from his house. What happens to Meera and what forced her to move out of Hari's life is discussed in a varied track in the late half, much different one than the former.
Mohanan's story much about the confused daughter of a divorced couple lacks freshness, but what pushes the movie is its former half that doesn't give a clue about where to this movie is heading. The second half is loaded with a lot of melodrama and flashbacks, but the finesse of the actor in Anoop Menon has pulled it off. This is his best till date in emotional roles, and he is cast much older than what he is, but lends believability to the character with his subtle performances. Mohanan took care to avoid some of the associated clichés, but the age old story and its predictability dampens its prospects and so is the climax. Malavika Nair in her debut is good in most of the parts and may find more similar roles in future. Parvana as Anoop's wife also plays to the demand of the character.
But the real highlight of the movie is its songs and cinematography. M Jayachandran provides the director with another couple of songs that seems to live much more than the movie. But the song 'Pizza' which come up in less than five minutes from another song mars the flow of the narratives. Faisal Ali's cinematography is another thing that gives it a glossy finish and interests us to watch throughout. The rest of the technical sides are better than the director's initial films. '916' is a movie that is for families who like to have an effortless, decent watch without any double entrées. But no big story line here, only the regular, virtue filled characters and their anxieties.