Mohanlal has been in the best of the times, with a number of continuous mega hits up in his sleeves for the last couple of years. That is the only possible reason why the director Shaji Kailas and his crew have thought, this festival season, to recheck on his present popularity as a mass action hero. And the product is Alibhai where our desi hero does everything a la Rajnikanth, to satisfy his legion of fans and the crass festival audiences. And for those who want to check it for humane storyline and lighter emotions as recent Lal movies, this may prove as an overdose.
The film has him as Anwar Ali, popularly called as Alibhai, who is the uncrowned king of Palayam market in Kozhikode. He is the savior of the poor and downtrodden. He has his group of friends, who is into everything that affects the lives of the people in the market. Even though the flower seller of the market Chenthamarai (Navya Nair) is crazy for the hero, he finds no time for love due to his heavy schedules in taking up people's causes.
The movie opens with the flash back sequences which establish young Ali, a member of barami family famous for making wooden ships. Ali Bhai in this past was cheated and wrongly accused of a crime by one of his friends Sundaran Thampi, for which he chops off, one of his hands and flee from his home to the palayam market, where he had to face many hardships before he emerged as the Bhai-the leader. He never backs out from a fight, even though he never dreamed of living as a goonda leader. Once he had to enter into a fisticuff with Bada Bhai, Abraham in which the later gets bed ridden. Even after the day, Ali takes care of Abraham with money and medicines. And from that day onwards, he was the unquestioned leader of the six thousand laborers of the market who called him with love Bhai.
In the life of Alibhai arrive the devils from his childhood, Sundaresan Thambi (Siddique) and Dan Abraham (Aryaman), son of Badabhai Abraham who wants to drive Alibhai and his men out of the market and build a mall there. They are hand in glove with the city corporation and the state administration and are having the aid of big investors from foreign countries. They are into anything, even to the levels of mass blasting, to settle their old scores and change the Kozhikode city into an international tourist centre which provides fun, wine and women. How Alibhai resists their attempts to save the market and the city forms the rest of the plot.
The film which moves in a rapid pace offers everything as a mass movie. Packaged into 2-hours-20-minutes, the rapid pace of the film helps you to avoid a yawn. Mohanlal, the one man entertainment troupe, most of the time carries the film on his shoulders with intense expressions, particularly his eyes, which display a range from bad to good. His silence speaks volumes and his performance is possibly the film's one highlight. The other highlights of the film is sadly not a refreshing storyline or sequences, but well choreographed fight sequences by stunt master Super Subbarayan.
The film has a big cast of which none except Lal gets enough spaces on screen. Among the crowds are Jagadheesh, Cochin Haneefa, Sudheesh, Shammy Thilakan, Ganesh, KPAC Lalitha and co. Suraj's Podipara occasionally register light moments, but that too is few .The producer Antony Peumbavoor also comes in an unimpressive cameo.
The film has two songs by Alex Paul, which won't help in any big manner for the movie. The lead actress Gopika as Ganga even can't make her presence felt as there is no lighter sequence from the superstar or any kind of romantic relief from the relentless fisticuffs to give audiences sore knuckles. The scripts by T A Shahid is a repackaging, which gives viewers the same old fare, of Lal heroics with the odd change here and there.