“One” (Malayalam film) – My Flash Review

In the initial sequences of the film, a young college student who put out a provocative post against the Chief Minister and his government on Facebook is on the run. The entire police machinery of the state is out to track this boy and eventually he is caught. In real life, the boy would be in jail slapped with some sundry charges and made to run from pillar to post. But this film is set in Utopia. So, the boy and his dad are produced before the Chief Minister in his office. The Chief Minister calls for a press meet and apologises for what happened and assures that the same won’t be repeated.

“One”, with Mammootty as the Chief Minister Kadakkal Chandran, is about this very honest and straight forward politician who always thinks and does good for the people. Politicians in films usually come in shades of grey even if they are the protagonists and shades of black if they are portrayed as villains. But here, this Chief Minister is all white. He wears also white all the time. So, he takes punga with his own party colleagues, his coalition partners and of course the opposition. But like in Shankar’s Mudhalvan, he is there in action when a bridge collapses. He reaches the police station when he gets a call from the student and suspends the police inspector who has wronged a common citizen. In a song fashioned in the lines of Rajini’s Vetri Kodi kattu or Indiane Vaa he is shown walking in slow motion and solving people’s problems. By the way, what happened to Shankar Mahadevan’s vocal chords in this song?

You get the drift. The main issue with the film is the lack of an engaging plot. Beyond the opposition conspiring to topple this popular CM, there is nothing much that happens. Towards the end, film seems like a documentary to promote the concept of “Right to Recall”.

For Mammootty, this is a walk in the park role. The film is heavy on dialogues and that is Mammootty’s forte. He sticks to his brief and portrays the character of an upright CM very well. Murali Gopy, who had a great outing when we saw him last in Drishyam-2, is wasted here. Except for some smirking reaction shots, he has nothing much to do. Same is the case with Nimisha Sajayan who is cast in a tepid role as the CM’s sister. There is also the character of a bearded party president who is a close confidant of the CM, played by Joju George, which again is devoid of any substance.

One would imagine that for a political film that has been released right in the midst of an election season particularly in Kerala, would pick up on a hot current affairs theme and make a worthy pot boiler out of it. Instead, the film wastes the opportunity in being just close to a documentary that has expensive production values.

P.S: The very generic title of the film is also strange for this subject and doesn’t help to add any value.

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