'Second Show' was touted as the most eagerly awaited movie of the year, mostly due to it being the launch pad of Dulqar Salman, the son of Megastar Mammootty. And all eyes were on him to rate his potential to persist in a competitive movie career. But after seeing the film, we will say more about the crew and the director, who has amazed us much more than its cast, delivering one of the venturesome and cheeky boy's films to date in Malayalam. A verbally explosive comical crime-caper, the movie succeeds due to its smart screenplay and witty dialogues, which survives its beaten-to-death formula, and not so polished making.
The movie's story lines are pretty old as the Himalayas, where a small time reckless gang lead by Lalu alias Harilal who lives on with their shady deals with sand mafia, shortly turn a quotation gang and ganja carriers, ultimately to evolve as the top players in the business. But the highlights of the movie are the breath of fresh air and authenticity that goes into its making. Here no attempts are made for a star launch; the characters are real with 'Hindi speaking characters' actually speaking a polished Hindi and night scenes conspicuously dark.
The narratives moves at its own pace with the unflinching approach of debutante director Sreenath Rajendran definitely on top, inspired from Indian and foreign gangster films including the RGV flicks. But he has deliberately mixed up the' desi' flavour, with characters very keralite and on the face and sardonic humour- equally desi without any airs. Aimed squarely at the youth brigade, there is never a dull moment in its undisguised enterprise.
The screenplay by Vini Viswalal is such that it keeps you estimating as to what's going to happen subsequently, with a subtle love track and bonding between friends. This film speaks a language that the youth would instantly connect with and the wits differ from the humour- laden films that we've been subjected to of late.
The inventive soundtracks by Nikhil and Avial are well worded and tuned. Foot tapping' 'Aiyyo' and Thithithara stands out as the anthem of the youth. 'Ramayana Koottil ' is peppy and energetic though all songs merely play in the background and gels well with the movie. After 'Chappa kurisu', Rex Vijayan also impresses with the BGM most of the times, though that sarcastic BG track while dealing with Lalu's family chores were never rightly recognised by the viewers.
The locales and Papu's cinematography in undersized places, like tiny dwellings and shrunk spaces with plenty of handheld shots, and sometimes amateurish looking frames only add to the authenticity and crude looks of the movie. A word of appreciation must also go to editors Sreekanth and Praveen, for slicing the movie to interesting proportions and also to the makeup man Bijubhaskar Sami.
On the flip side, a film like 'Second Show' may not be savoured and relished by everyone, especially the 'family audiences'
And, for that big question of performances.... Dulqar Salman seems to have adequate physique and potential and shows it in the later reels with a controlled performance. His voice seems to be his biggest positive, but needs to work on his modulations and a little bit on histrionics. His selection of this role as his launch vehicle is really exceptional and that itself proves him to be a ' thinking actor' in the making.
But the actor who stole the entire show was Sunny Wayne as 'Kuridi' who has been exceptional most of the times. We were never made aware of the little drawbacks of the lead star whenever Sunny was on screen, sometimes overacting but taking the film ably in his tender shoulders. Sure to see this wonderful performer more in Mollywood scenes in the coming years. Gowthami Nair was just ok as the 'murapennu' of Lalu but the seasoned actors like Baburaj, Sudesh Berry, Kunchan and Rohini managed to keep the proceedings moving in a realistic scale.
Overall, 'Second show ' though with its share of little negatives, is an honest effort that deserves to be encouraged. Of course, it may not be the most persuasive film that portrays an issue, but at least it moves on a untapped and brand new terrain of presentations, ably helped by little known actors.Definitely a must watch for those who love experimental movies that also entertain.