Film: Musafir

Director: Pramod Pappan

Cast: Rehman, Mamta Mohandas, Cochin Haneefa, Mamukoya

In the eighties, Rehman’s presence in Malayalam cinema was frequent and full. The Malayali cineastes then heard little of him. But cinema lovers still remember him as the lanky, charming, young man who could hold his space against bigwigs of filmdom like Suhasini, Zarina Wahab, Karthika and Shobhana.

May be that is why Musafir doesn’t stir any feelings when Rehman plays the lead as a don with a heart, a product of grim circumstances who would do anything for money yet has the steadfastness of a typical “Eranadan Mussalman” named Humayun, aka Musafir.

The film tries giving him a larger-than-life aura as the ‘lone traveller,’ but fails. What the audience, especially the ones who relished his earlier films, feel is pity for the actor.

Otherwise too the film fails to appeal with it being full of sound, dollops of fury, and signifying nothing but mediocre show of glitz, glamour, action and opulence. This plot is yawningly commonplace despite the presence of stalwarts like Cochin Haneefaand Mamta Mohandas, who lets her vacant eyes speak her part as Haneefa’s daughter and Rehman’s love-interest. There is a very evident effort to spice up the tale with the loudness of tonnes of big, burly cars and motorbikes imposing themselves on dirt tracks and tough desert terrains.

The plot also entails the lead characters to criss-cross continents, may be to do justice to the publicity that the film has been shot in London, Dubai, and Bangkok.

What stands out are the long shots that show the glitter of skylines and high rises or even the lushness of the meadows. But the close shots appear amateurish and technically deficient.

So, the plot appears to be a hotchpotch of incidents and when the film ends after nearly three hours of hullabaloo, there is relief. There is but a warmth for Rehman, who still remains a fresh feeling in the hearts of many.

Aparna Nair