The original story of Paul Zakharia -Praise the Lord' had every interesting satirical elements which, if tried skilfully ,could be converted into an enjoyable film. The scriptwriter of the new film based on the same story, T P Devaraj almost managed to do that , using many of the original lines and concepts, without affecting the simplicity of the narrative structure of the film. But the debutante director Shibu Gangadharan fails to use it the best of the extremes, which has made the new Mammootty film 'Praise the Lord' a just above average one.
As per the popular novelette, Mammootty is presented as Joy, the rich planter living a happy go lucky life with his beautiful wife Ancy and two small school going kids. Apart from some rare outings with his close friends- Adv Sunny and Harikrishnan, Joy spend much of his time at home with his family. He share an interesting bond with his wife, who is actually his source of energy in all situations. Into this calm atmosphere comes in two lovers- Samkutty , a firm believer in God and Aani, a spoilt modern girl who are in a hurry to enjoy an unmarried adventurous life before get married. As they doesn't have the approval of their families, they find it a heaven in the house of Joy who accidentally is assigned the duty to protect them for some days. Joy and Ancy , who are for the first time seeing a loving young couple at their vicinity, takes every step to hide them and get them united, but the lovers have something else in mind.
The movie definitely has its moments, much of which are centred around joy, Ancy and their home. The movie has at times a roller coaster , bumpy ride with a lack of perfection visible all through. Even the director is not able to manage his actors judiciously or sapiently guide the flow of the narratives, the flaws that will become pivotal in its commercial run.
Mammootty as a simpleton planter looks fine and the role is an easy walk for a star of his stature. Reenu Mathews is good and lovable and makes a fine pair with Mammootty. The onscreen chemistry of them are something that works well in the movie. But the biggest miscast comes in the form of Ahamed Siddhique as Samkutty. With a wooden face, many of his lines intended to make you laugh ends up as serious notes and the actor fails to convert much of the scenes as engaging ones. His preachy tone and lamenting over his father too appear more serious than it was expected to, damaging many sequences in the second half. His pair Akansha Puri is a pretty face , just manages to be in the role. The other seniors including Mukesh, Indrans and Shajon are impressive.
There are three songs in the film which props up form no where, much of them are of no use in the narratives. The poor visualisations also makes them terrible to bear, though all the songs including 'Innalayolum ' and 'Sharonvaniyil...'are hummable and musically rich. The BGM by Bijipal is strictly average. The technical sides are average with the cameraman Pradeep Nair and editor Xian Sreekanth doing nothing exceptional to save the scenes.
In the final analysis, if the director could have handled the delicate plot with a little more conviction and passion' Praise the lord ' could have ended up as a much better fare . As of now, the literary backup and some good moments definitely helps it to remain an average entertainer.