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Movie Review

Lion - Mirth masala
IndiaGlitz  [Wednesday, February 01, 2006]

A title like Lion suggests anger, courage, valor and attacking instincts.The film Lion may not be imposing. But it gives enjoyable moments of mirth masala that will make it work at the box office.

A film with a title like this may seem suitable for someone like Suresh Gopi. But Dileep enjoys the new kind of role and brings in his own brand of humour and comedy and makes it work within the matrix of a political theme.

Director Joshi has cobbled up a workable plot (laced with all the contemporary events in the political and social arena) and the movie cuts ice with the public simply because he has provided a reliable context to them. Keralites take their politics and humor seriously.They get both in this film.

The story sets off with the scheming shenanigans of Bala Gangadhara Menon (Kalasala Babu), a vile and venal Education Minister. His cohorts are his sons-in-law (Sai Kumar and Shammi Thilkan). Both are senior IAS & IPS officers. The contrast comes in the form of his own son Krishan Kumar (Dileep). He is naturally straightforward and is ready to work for the people. This student leader is not afraid to take on his father. He is also romantically inclined with Shari (Kavya Madhavan), a teacher with clean thinking and clearer work ethic. Krishna Kumar father doesn't take kindly to this.

Things also come to such a state that Krishna Kumar has to take on his own father at the hustings. His job is now to set things right and sweep out systemic failures. Does he do that or do the vested interests finish him off? For answers listen to the Lion roar.

For a film with such a populist theme, there are oodles of comical situation. Perhaps it has been consciously done to suit Dileep’s image. And he doesn't let slip the responsibility bestowed on him. In fact, he revels in it. He has brought to his role a refreshing sense of joi de vivre  -- something that was needed in the script which otherwise could have been reduced to be pedestrian and banal.

Dileep also has a unique understanding with Kavya and the duo’s on-screen presence is very endearing. The songs and dances in foreign locales ---- perhaps influenced by masala movies from Telugu and Tamil --- will go down well with the masses.

The rest of the cast (especially the comedy team of Jagathy, Harisri Ashokan, Salim Kumar, Innocent) revel in their own little way.

Deepak Dev’s music passes muster.

Joshy is a past master in such masala themes. In this film, he has reduced the action events and concentrated on comedy and fun. A combination that makes it refreshing, and more importantly, will make it work at the box office.

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