‘Hallo’ sees a fan rush. No such luck for ‘Mission 90 days’ though.

The magic wand of director Lal Jose is once again creating wonders. His latest flick Arabikatha with no ‘super stars’ or ‘big names’ to claim is galloping ahead with appreciation pouring in from all quarters.

Rated as one among the most promising young directors in Malayalam film industry, making hits has become a habit for Lal Jose. Last Onam, his Classmates broke all collection records and catapulted Prithviraj and Narein into the big league of actors.

But the director is cautious and seems to have learnt a lot from the past. His career had almost come to a halt after Randam Bhavam (with Suresh Gopi and Lal in lead roles) bombed at the box-office. But he made a roaring comeback through Meesha Madhavan. Arabikatha is testimony to the fact that Lal Jose wants to experiment with new themes.

Shot extensively in the Gulf, the movie makes a scathing attack on the decline of party politics in the State. It also maps the pains of common party workers, who had sacrificed everything in life. Srinivasan comes up with a riveting performance portraying Cuba Mukundan.

The movie also delves into the hardships faced by thousands of Keralites in the Gulf.

If Arabikatha is receiving critical appreciation, Mohanlal’s ‘Hallo’ opened on an excellent note in several centres across the State. Rafi Mecartin’s adept handling of humour situations and the powerhouse combination of Mohanlal and Jagathy Sreekumar are the highlights of the movie.

Blame the script

Arabikatha and Hallo might have scored but Mamootty’s Mission 90 days and Dileep’s July 4 seem to be struggling at the box-office.

Preliminary reports suggest that both the films fail to impress due to weak scripts.

Major Ravi’s attempt to recreate the commando operation that immediately followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi seems not to have taken off, as planned.

The fate of Dileep’s July 4 will be decided in the coming days but the initial openings are not satisfactory, according to industry reports.

G. Krishnakumar

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