Henry is the producer who virtually presented Mollywood with one of its biggest stars-Mammootty. In the eighties, it was his 'Yavanika' which became his first commercial hit and provided the needed platform for the star. Now after 20 years he is back with 'Vande Matharam', a bilingual film directed by Aravind T. The movie which is technically a sound movie has many highlights including two lead actors and some innovative thought lines. But the standard patriotic formula, together with a poor script and even more pathetic dialogues mar any interest that you may feel for the flick.
The title scrolls on the fervent speech by India's prime minister played by Nasser, who is on a master plan to link the major rivers of the nation together for a project called interstate river corridor, thereby leading the nation to prosperity. Then the visuals talk of a major terrorist plan to create multiple blasts and to create a political vacuum, the hints of which are with the central IB. The IB chief immediately summons Gopikrishnan, deputy director of RAW to create a core group and take steps to grab the lead terrorist who are already into the southern coast.
Gopikrishnan, a family man with his wife Nadhinee (Sneha), is living a quiet life. As per the directives he invites police S P Anwar Hussain (Arjun) and a team as his partners. The two from their minimum clues chase people through highways and tall buildings and tracing phone calls, leading up wisely to Malik aka Abul Hassan, who is spearheading the new terrorist threats. Though they succeed in nabbing the bigwig, the movies follows their endeavor to crack the secret project, that lies deep down in the terrorist's brain forcing him for a confession. Some of their attempts on psychological breakdowns are interesting while some are worth booing and insignificant.
The movie has its moments including the flashback track about the hunger-stricken villages and farmer suicides. The major flaw in the movie is the years that went in its making that shows at many points. Much of the technical wizardry engaged in locating the terrorist are stale, often repeated in many recent thrillers. The movie fails to arise any kind of patriotic intent among viewers as there are not many dialogues or emotions that could have worked to generate some. The logical loop holes (like Gopikrishnan watching the terrorist's stammering daughter and wife on his screen) and the loss of momentum in the later half also adds to the movie's woes.
The lead actors Mammootty and Arjun don't show any camaraderie between them as their portrayed characters. Sneha, Jai Akash and Jagadheesh are wasted in petty insignificant roles, while Deepak J D has a meaty role as the villain, taking the majority of the screen time of the later half.
In the technical side, the camera work suits the demands of a thriller. Though D Imman's music is pleasing to ears, they are not demanded in the narratives. The placement of all the songs and their lyrics are illogical and serves nothing in carrying on the plot. But the art department has convincingly created the sets and the SFX are also above ordinary.
All in all, a movie with some good intentions, 'Vande Matharam' falls flat due to unconvincing screenplay and dialogues.