Producer : Sajai Sebastian
Director : Shibu Prabakhar
Cast : Suraaj Venjaramoodu,Roopasri. etc
Music : Alex Paul
Cinematography : Shamdut
Story : Joy Thomas Iritty
Screenplay,dialogues : Shani Khader
Review by : Unni / www.Kerala9.com
Rating : 1.5/5
To begin with, let’s try and think out if there is any purpose behind making a movie like ‘Duplicate’. Of course Suraaj Venjaramoodu, who is playing the hero for the first time, has a fan-following of his own, as a comedian. But does that mean that he can carry a film solely on his shoulders? And especially since he is not doing in the film what he is best at doing, i.e., comedy, will his fans really be satisfied with his first film as hero? So, ultimately who gains out of the movie? Not Suraaj anyway, except perhaps on financial terms. Not the director or producer either. And the film-viewing public? They too gain nothing. And nothing for Malayalam Cinema either. So, why such a film?
‘Duplicate’ begins as the story of Sivankutty (Suraaj Venjaramoodu), a young guy living in a village and trying his best to perpetually ward off people to whom he owe money. He has to make some money and clear off his debts and then take marry his uncle’s daughter Meenakshi (Roopashri), while his uncle ‘Pattalam’ Keshavan (Laloo Aalex) is up in arms against their love. Sivankutty’s constant companion is his paternal uncle P.Suresh (Innocent), whose sole aim in life is to get drunk all the time. It’s into this situation that barges in Jeevan (Suraaj in a double role), a look-alike of Sivankutty, who accidentally happens to take Sivankutty’s place while Sivankutty happens to reach Jeevan’s house. Jeevan in fact is a rich guy, but one with his share of problems. How the two guys’ lives get entangled and what all happens then forms the plot of ‘Duplicate’.
‘Duplicate’ is all duplicate; there’s nothing original about the subject. We have seen it so many times before. And there is nothing spectacular that happens during the development of the plot either. Subject-wise, treatment wise and on the performance side and technical side, the film is replete with flaws of all kinds. There is nothing that would make you call the film a good one. It’s as futile watching the movie as futile perhaps is making it, with so much of money being spent (‘Duplicate’ is no big budget movie, but even a low budget one incurs a budget of lakhs and lakhs of rupees).
It can’t be said that Suraaj Venjaramoodu gives a poor performance in the double role, that of Sivankutty and that of Jeevan. But of course the characters are a bit heavy for him and this is not what’s expected of him too. Suraaj has his limitations as an actor and characters for him should be created with that in mind. Innocent has nothing much to do as P.Suresh and his character loses significance mid-way. The others are all just so so, with Salim Kumar, Bijukuttan, Laloo Aalex etc delivering their trademark performances. The heroine doesn’t even deserve mention.
Nothing much to mention about the technical aspects of ‘Duplicate’.
Songs penned by Santhosh Varma, Anil Panachooran and Suresh Kaavil and set to tune by Alex Paul are all far from impressive.
Shani Khader, who has written the script, hasn’t done anything worth mentioning. It’s just an average kind of thing, with not much importance given to characterization or the development of scenes.
It’s rather difficult to say if Shibu Prabakhar, the director of the movie will have a future in cinema or not. In fact, it’s difficult to assess his capabilities based on this film, which has nothing much to work on and doesn’t have a great cast either. But it’s the director who has to take care of these aspects too, namely fixing the subject and of course the casting too. But in present day Malayalam Cinema, a debutant director hasn’t much of a say in such matters. So if a second film happens for this director (let’s hope so), then only will we be able to judge him.
Overall verdict- Wasted effort.