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Times of India
When a highly-respected schoolteacher is jailed on charges of rape and murder, his students from across the country come together to save him and expose the real culprit.
If one looks solely at the story of Ilanjikavu P O, it has clearly got the material for an engaging film. An amateurish movie-making style has, however, cramped its life so much that it can't be labelled anything above mediocre. The oddly put together combo of mystery, high-strung emotions and slapstick humour has only widened the chink in the film's armour and barely entertains the hapless audience.
Charles Martin (Mukesh) is a renowned lawyer-slash-magician in Delhi, who migrated to the city from Kerala as a child. He returns to the state when his childhood sweetheart Lakshmi (Nandini) requests his help, to save their teacher (Salim Kumar) from a murder case. The film goes on to reveal how Charles wields his skills to reveal the truth and help his teacher.
The audience can't help but feel sorry for the actors, who seem to be trapped in sloppy scenes and characters. The dialogues they mouth are tedious and lacklustre, and one wonders whether the makers understand new-age Malayalam audience at all. Stereotypes rule every frame - for instance the way it portrays village romance using the same old water-lily fetching guy who paddles a little boat while his lady love flutters her lashes, the joyous duo walking to school hugging books and their playful scuttles through fields. Scenes meant to depict the lead pair's childhood romance have not a bit of novelty to boast of and is only made worse by the insipid casting.
The apparent ease with which Charles solves the complicated murder mystery could bore the audience to tears. The director even falters in something as simple as presenting the English accent of a Malayali who has lived in the US for 10 years as the character blabbers on like one who has just completed a crash course in spoken English.
Simply put, Ilanjikavu is not even one of those movies which you would watch when left with no other option.
If one looks solely at the story of Ilanjikavu P O, it has clearly got the material for an engaging film. An amateurish movie-making style has, however, cramped its life so much that it can't be labelled anything above mediocre.