Bhadran directed "Udayon", with Mohanlal in the lead, to try to recreate the "Spadikam" magic. But he fails in his efforts.
"Spadikam" proved to be a milestone in Mohanlal's career. It gave a thrust to the actor's image from a commoner to a hero with superhuman powers.
Mohanlal and Bhadran are back together exactly after a decade of "Spadikam" (in between they made the forgettable "Olympian Anthony Adam").
Bhadran reworked the story to target nostalgic fans. And, to top it all, he spoofed his own masterpiece with the character portrayed by Jagathy Sreekumar as Shavapetti Thoma, a direct take from Adu Thoma played by Mohanlal in "Spadikam."
The septuagenarian getup by Mohanlal and his dual role as father and son, expected to be the film's USP, fall flat.
True, he looks good in makeup, but the poor voice modulation and stunt sequences fail him.
In "Udayon," Sooranadu Kunju (Mohanlal Sr.) is a stubborn patriarch who believes in agrarian prosperity.
The pivot on which the story revolves is the generation gap, with the ensuing conflicts. Kunju has five children, including four sons. The youngest, still a school kid born out of Kunju's second marriage at an old age, underscores his virility.
The problem is that none of Kunju's children except for the youngest share his enthusiasm for agriculture. Kunju is so obsessed with land that he even grabs his sister's share by forging his father's will.
The film belongs to the older Mohanlal, and every other actor just pops up and vanishes time and again. One feels that the role of young Mohanlal was shaped for the viewer to remember how the megastar actually looks.
Makeup artist Pattanom Rashid deserves a special mention.
Every other actor seems to be wasted, be it heroine Laya or Kalabhavan Mani, Manoj K. Jayan or Nasar - none of them make any cohesive contribution to the story.
How one wishes that veteran directors like Bhadran invented new stories instead of riding piggyback on Mohanlal's stature hoping to deliver hits.