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Return of the moral science era

S.R. Praveen
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Nothing unexpected:David and Goliath
Nothing unexpected:David and Goliath

Film: David and Goliath

Direction: Rajeev Nath

Cast: Jayasurya, Anoop Menon, Soumya, Anumol, Lena

One of the unforgettable memories, or rather nightmares, of the school days were stories with moral lessons that used to chase us, right from the weekly moral science classes to the fables in children’s magazines. It seemed everyone in the world was out to teach us a lesson. Of late, Malayalam cinema has also begun to do the same, albeit subtly. It has started shifting away from dark plots to moral tales. Suddenly being good has become ‘cool’ again.

David and Goliath ’, directed by Rajeev Nath, is the latest in the line of those films which leaves you with a one-line moral in the end. As can be expected from such a film, the story line is wafer thin and this one completely revolves around a supposedly brilliant ‘invention’ — an instrument made of two puttu kuttis (pot used to make puttu), a cycle rim, few pipes, gear wheels and a dynamo that can light a bulb.

David (Jayasurya) is the uneducated owner of this scientific mind. An orphan, he lives in a church under the care of a priest (P. Balachandran). Though with a good intellect, he fears the outside world and this fear manifests occasionally in the form of blood dripping from his nose.

His brain power is established through the repairing of an old TV and by the making of a sling (an explicit reference to the Biblical story of David) to attack a local Goliath who pesters his lady love (Soumya). Sunny (Anoop Menon) comes in half-way through the film with his big plans centred on the ‘ puttu kutti ’ instrument. The KSEB should take a leaf out of Sunny’s book.

This basic plot of a naturally talented guy is evidently developed from the character of the young Adu Thoma in the Mohanlal starrer Sphadikam . This is alluded to in scenes where David is shown watching a few fight scenes from that movie. In fact, the scenes of him watching ‘ Sphadikam ’ and ‘ Kireedom ’ on television were the only ones that evoked some response from the crowd. On another note, this recent practice of piggybacking on the popularity of some old classic has become widespread in the industry and has now reached intolerable levels.

Anoop Menon yet again pens the script for Rajeev Nath, after the intellectual overload that was Pakal Nakshatrangal . Though there is less of that in this film, it also does not offer much of a take away. But for a change, he has penned a character with negative shades for himself unlike the perfect man in the middle of vile humans that he used to play, the latest of which was in Trivandrum Lodge .

The film meanders along, rarely creating any excitement. There are of course some ‘moments’, especially Jayasurya’s encounters with a local Goliath and a few scenes with Lena but all that still does not take the film to a higher level. In the end, one is left with a tacky looking, power-producing apparatus called ‘electro magix’ (of course inspired from the puttu kutti instrument) and a moral which can be wildly extrapolated to mean – ‘Steal intellectual property at your own peril’.

S.R. Praveen

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