‘Bheeshma Parvam’ movie review: Mammootty stars in slick but familiar mafia don story

Director Amal Neerad makes up for the lack of novelty in the story with style and some solid characters

March 03, 2022 02:31 pm | Updated 02:31 pm IST

A still from ‘Bheeshma Parvam’

A still from ‘Bheeshma Parvam’

Building an aura of power and dread around someone is often more about what the person does not do, than what he or she does, despite having all the ability to do it. In Bheeshmaparvam, the protagonist Michael (Mammootty), a local don, does not do much. He fights on his own only twice in the film, which are the few times he even gets outside of his home. Yet at no point do we get a sense that this is someone incapable of hitting back, even at a point when he is physically incapable of doing what he ought to do.

Here, director Amal Neerad blends the trademark style he introduced in Big B with the ever-familiar mafia don story, right from Godfather to Nayakan. The opening scene gives one a quick overview of what is to follow. The entire extended family of the rich household has gathered for a celebration. Michael is upstairs listening to the woes of a woman whose son has just been murdered in a case of honour killing. Writ large on the faces of the relatives gathered downstairs are myriad emotions, from respect to envy and displeasure, in what are clues to the kind of equation they all share with Michael.

Bheeshma Parvam
Director: Amal Neerad
Cast: Mammootty, Soubin Shahir, Nadia Moidu, Sreenath Bhasi, Shine Tom Chacko

The script, penned by Amal Neerad and Devadath Shaji, ensures that the all-powerful don is just one of the elements of the film, with most other characters having an identity of their own. Take the case of Peter (Shine Tom Chacko), Michael's nephew, who has failed in all his business ventures and nurses a grudge against Michael. But, he is at the same time a hot-headed film producer, who dictates dance moves to a film star. Alice (Anasuya Bharadwaj), who used to be Michael's girlfriend years back, appears only in a few scenes, yet she manages to convey all that she has gone through in the intervening years. But the characters who walk away with the best of the scenes are Ami Ali (Sreenath Bhasi) and Ajas Ali (Soubin Shahir).

All these characters still do not help paper over the fact that much of the basic story lacks any novelty. The simmering discontent within his home, and a man waiting to take revenge for Michael's actions in the past come together to haunt him; but knowing the pattern of such films, we certainly know how it will turn out. Until the last half an hour, Amal builds the film and Michael's character patiently in an unhurried pace that the audience can't be blamed for expecting it all to burst out like a dam towards the end. But this build-up kind of fizzles out towards the end, in what turns out to be a rather tame and hurried climax.

Recreating 1980s nostalgia on screen has ceased to surprise us, but the production design here is worth lauding and justifies the setting during that period. Sushin Shyam’s background score adds quite a lot to the impact in some key sequences. In Bheeshma Parvam, Amal Neerad makes up for the lack of novelty in the story with style and some solid characters.

Bheeshma Parvam is currently running in theatres

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