Talented director T K Rajeevkumar has developed a habit of squandering it all, at the end in all his recent films, though they all started with heavy promises. Except his few great flicks like 'Chanakyan'- 'Pavithram','Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu'- and 'Shesham', this carelessness has cost him hits and brought him down to a hardly dependable director, though with immense talent, insights and dedication. In his latest offering 'Up & Down- Mukalil Oralundu', the director skillfully tries to avoid his regular pitfalls, but just manages to make it viable for an engaging one time watch. Though the thrills are too less and the suspense could be spotted miles before it arrives, the movie but won't bore you. With a backdrop that you haven't yet seen in any of the Mollywood films- yes, the lift is the key space in this film;all the drama happens inside the small space inside.
The movie has Indrajith as Thampuran, a lift operator in Mahaflats, a skyscraper apartment building owned by Sam Christy Meykkattil(Baiju) . Thampuran is an ex-service man who has lost one of his legs, while in service. The movie opens with a frequent visitor to the apartments , a high profile call girl(Meghnaraj) leaving her little son Sankhu(Master Devaraman) with the life operator with a promise that she will comeback for the child the very next morning at seven. But she never comes back to fetch the child on the eventful next day which is also the day for the anniversary celebrations of the dwellers in the flat. As the chief guest of the function, City Police Commissioner Siyad Ahamed (Ganesh Kumar), is on the way through the lift to the function, it gets stranded midway. The other eight persons stuck in the lift includes Edathil Govindan Nair (Prathap Pothan), a popular writer who is an alcoholic , Cherian (Nandu), an NRI who is acting as Gandhi in a play to enacted that day , Sooraj (Rajat Menon), a techie who is playing Godse in the same play and his fiancee Mithra(Shruthi menon); Sam Christy (Baiju), the owner of the flats and his wife and danseuse Prasanna (Remya Nambeeshan), together with the lift operator Thampuran and the little child. The lift mechanic (Kochupreman), who is drunk, takes plenty of time to correct the things. Meanwhile, the lift starts moving down at great speed and then halts all of a sudden, which results in the overhead fan thrown off revealing the dead body of the call girl, who went into one of its apartments previous night. With nine people stuck inside the lift and one dead body over them, the Police Commissioner now decides to have his investigation done using the time they are left in the lift.
The highlight of the movie is the refreshingly interesting plot and its backdrop. The treatment is fine and way the movie is narrated with the suspense build upon the lifts, are deftly handed by T K Rajeevkumar. But the pace slackens off at some points diverging it from becoming a real racy, edge-of-the-seat thriller and the well-kept suspense is not that 'great', which could be easily sensed by an intelligent Mollywood viewer, who has developed a real good sense to crack these kind of mysteries. More over some unwanted sequences like 'the call girl's makeup inside the lifts and the detailing of the sensous happenings in one of the flats' could have been eliminated. There are no real reasons for the culprit to carelessly leave the dead body on the lift. Had the scriptwriters given a little more care in the pacing, reasoning and the climax sequences this 'Up and Down' could have become a stand out stuff.
In the acting front, Indrajith is good and does justice to his role, but he doesn't have much to do. The movie but, belongs to Meghna, who is having an extended run in different makeups all through the movie. She portrays her demanding role well. Nandu seems to be getting a sort of typecast with his characteristic mannerisms, while Prathap Pothan, seems to be overdoing his characters a bit in the recent outings including this one. The rest of the cast are good and play to their roles.
The technical sides of the movie are top notch with a fine art direction of the lift by art-director Mohandas. Editor Ajith Kumar tries to make the film racy. Jomon Thomas lends able support to the director with his camerawork. The new composer Prashanth Murali, is awesome with his BG scores which works big time for the movie.
With no big edge-of-the-seat elements, this 'Up and Down' Mukalil Orallundu' may be adequate for an one time watch for most. Have a look of its different plot and the new backdrops on which Mollywood are planting their new cinemas...