Rajeev Anchal, the Malayali director bitten by the Hollywood bug, has touched Kerala shores for a change. His new bilingual film "Made in USA" starring Madhavan, seen for the first time in a Malayalam film, has hit the theatres. It has been shot on high-definition digital format by a technical crew from Hollywood -- those are the points on which the film has been marketed.
But once you leave the darkened hall, you feel a sense of delirium, confused about what the filmmakers tried to convey.
It is the tale of an orphaned youth with suicidal tendencies treated by a Malayali psychiatrist in Las Vegas. The thin storyline has been so padded that it leaves you numb by the end.
Robby (Madhavan) is an orphan, who has migrated to Las Vegas at a young age and is working in a casino for livelihood. He is very good with money and his friends entrust him with their earnings for safekeeping.
But he loses his friend's lifetime earnings, triggering latent suicidal tendencies. He is admitted in a local hospital where he comes face to face with a funny psychiatrist played by Sreenivasan. The movie then goes on and on in the claustrophobic interiors of the hospital till the penultimate scene.
It is not clear whether the director's pro-life views successfully come across, because there is overuse of humour. It seems as if the director is looking down upon people who take the drastic step without empathizing with them.
On the other hand, the audience often feels that it is the humour that is holding the narrative together. It would otherwise be staid and boring.
The screenplay by journalist Bobby Nair leaves a lot to be desired. The main grouse against him is the stereotypical characterization of Sreenivasan and Innocent.
On the histrionic front, Madhavan tries to put the requisite intensity into his performance but his dubbed Malayalam fails him. The roles of the two female actresses, Kaveri and Neha, are not etched well. They get no scope to showcase their capabilities.
Technically, this film is plainly mediocre. Keith Gruchala's camerawork does not get us involved in the proceedings.
Rajeev Anchal is one director who has tried to take the crossover path from the Malayalam filmdom. "Made in USA" is a part of that attempt, but here he has failed to get through to his audience