Streetlights : The Review

Streetlights has its flaws but but you still end up liking it for its unforced charm.The only purpose of casting Mammootty in this film was to save it from a fate akin to that of say, the many Asif Ali new wave thrillers that have hit the screens in the recent past.A name as big as his brings the attention of the global Malayali audience to a film that wouldve otherwise ended up in the obilivion that the post-DVD-torrent world is, a forgotten link on an illegal streaming site.As the star’s own production house was backing the movie, you had this inkling that it wouldn’t be just another dud in his cap, which it seems, he has been all too keen to collect, of late.

Though the whole premise of the film is eerily similar to that of Puthanpanam,¬†what saves Streetlights¬†is some genuine writing that tries to bring in some novelty in scenes and situations that are cliched to an extent.The writer has put some time and effort into all the characters and that keeps the movie afloat, I feel.But it has to be said that the writer couldn’t resist the tempations to indulge in toilet humor, literally.The string of coincidences that drives the narrative does seem outlandish, towards the end especially but the pace of the proceedings on screen and the performances of the supporting ¬†cast comes to the rescue of the film here.Dharmajan stands out here and has delivered in a role that’s well etched and far removed from the fumbling sidekick roles we have seen him often in.He is a revelation, almost.Hareesh Perumanna on the other hand has been asked to talk his talk and still makes a decent job of it, as he has done in the numerous films he has been part of in the past couple of years.The one part of the film that i disliked to the core are the scenes set in primary school, where kids have been asked to behave like college students by the makers.This is something that we have seen in quite a few Malayalam movies recently and it is neither cute nor funny by any stretch of imagination.

Mammootty the actor or Mammootyy the star doesnt stand to gain much from this movie but you do get to see glimpses of both in flashes, if you care to look closely.One scene stands out particularly, where the Police officer played by Mammootty, out looking for a con-man in Fort Kochi which in the Malayalam Cinematic Universe is the hub of all things bad about Kochi, a den of criminals so to speak, confronts a bunch of local goons.The director shows extreme restraint here and instead of asking Mammootty to swing from a rope and make the baddies fly out into outer space, with utter disrespect for the memories of Isaac Newton – which until recently was something that you saw only in Tamil and Telugu movies – Shamdat Sainudeen in this pretty decent transformation from a cinematographer to a director, shows that an actor of Mammootty’s calibre can deliver as much impact as a punch or a highflying kick by just saying the right words with the right intensity.It was almost the vintage Mammooty from Avanazhi and Inspector Balram, for a moment there.And yeah the director does save some rope swinging action sequences for the climax.Get over Pulimurugan already, people !