Ask a child to define the term 'Hero'. Then ask the kid to talk about his/her dad. The answers will be strikingly matching. In an age where brutality against children is encroaching unheard levels, David Ninan of The Great Father dons the role of a super hero to avenge for his daughter. He is helped to reach the audience by a great story, gripping execution, fantastic performances, deep and powerful dialogues all controlled by screenplay which could have been crisper.
The Great Father released as one of the most hyped movies in recent Malayalam
cinema. The teasers and motion posters had hinted that it is going to be a
revenge thriller. Revenge stories across industries tend to follow a pattern. A
pattern obeying the sequence of happiness, tragedy and revenge. Hence the
greatest challenge for a film maker is to create cinema that can surpass the
unavoidable predictability the revenge genre possesses. Hanif Adeni’s
directorial debut crosses the hurdle with utmost ease as it ceases to take the
foot off the pedal at any point of the movie. The fuel for the intensity is the
well-established emotions which is neatly built up at the start. The impact of
the accident which triggers the acceleration of the movie, is portrayed with
perfection. Brilliant performances from Mammootty and Baby Anikha make sure
that the bonding and the flow of emotions between Sara David and her super hero
daddy David Ninan is neatly conveyed. The movie painfully shows the vulnerable
and helpless situation of women and children. The next hurdle most revenge
movies face is the one-dimensional finding and finishing of the villain by the
hero. Here, the director brings about simple yet gripping improvisations, making
thingsnot easy for the protagonist. The projection the villain receives contributes
immensely to the weight of the movie. The director does very well to maintain
ambiguity associated with the identity of the villain. The revelation in the
end carries a beautiful simplicity with it. David Ninan will go among one of
the best mass roles donned by Mammootty, as the character receives controlled
yet impulsively power packed projection. If there is anything missing, it is
the absence of a suitable base for his unassailable courage and skills like the
subtle history projected for ‘Bilal’ in ‘Big B’.Another intriguing factor is
the presence of the cop Andrews Eapen, who races neck to neck with David,
maintaining a sense of suspense in his intensions. Adeni also makes sure that
the juggernaut is refueled regularly by unquenchable emotions. All these
being a bit too dramatic. The movie is bold and ruthless in the messages it conveys and the statements it makes about pedophilesand aboutthose who shamelessly celebrate the rape cases to make money. The Great Fatherstates a fact hugely relevant to our times that rape is a totally healableinjury and that it doesn’t steal anything from the injured one. The movie ends strongly, reiterating its message beautifully, backed by the mass projection for Mammootty.
The movie marks the return of Megastar Mammootty into the box office race. Rightly so, Mammootty delivers an impeccable performance as the great father, which drives the movie throughout. There were grand opportunities for him to perform and as always, he grabs it by the scruff of the neck. The script very often limited Mammootty in an attempt to use his screen presence, a technique which has its highs, but ordinary patches as well. Baby Anikha puts forward a soulful performance. She arguably comes up with the best acting moment in the entire movie, dominated by the one and only Mammootty. Arya is incredible as the super cop Andrews Eapen. It is evident that his acting is undermined by very dramatic dubbing, especially given the fact that he was quite impressive with his own voice in his previous Malayalam outing ‘Double Barrel’. Kalabhavan Shajon is another notable performer in the movie.
The background score is almost symbolic of the flow of the film. When the movie gets into a high, the BGM almost stands out as the highlight. But very often it feels that the score doesn’t do justice to the intensity around. Songs by Gopi Sundar are strictly average. They fail to make vital contributions in terms of impact and promotion.
The Great Father has in it all the ingredients to constitute for a thrilling feast. The director Hanif Adeni on his debut venture mixes all those ingredients in the right proportions. The end product, which is tasty alright, gives the feeling that it could be tastier. It seemed like a super car running a notch below its maximum speed, yet a super one indeed. It is a movie which demands to be watched in theatres for its intensity, performances and strong statements.