Cast: Vikram, Superstar Krishna, Shriya, Prabhu, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Tiwari, Mumait Khan, Brahmanandam and others
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography: N K Ekambaram
Art: Thota Tharani
Produced by: Kalaipuli S Thanu
Story, screenplay and directed by: Susi Ganeshan
Release Date: August 21, 2009
CBFC Rating: U/A
What’s it about!
Mallanna (Vikram) is a CBI Officer working under economic offences investigation department. He steals some of the money that he caught during the raides and distributes to the needy and poor. He comes in disguise of god Mallanna to the helpful who petition at the temple of Mallanna. Once CBI raids on powerful rich person PPP (Ashish Vidyardhi) under the guidance of Mallanna and after that PPP vows to finish him off. His daughter Subbalakahsmi (Shriya) swears revenge and pretends to fall in love with him. Mallanna is protected by CBI Joint director (Krishna) in his Robin Hood activities. The rest of the movie is how Subbalakshmi realizes her fault, and Mallanna achieves his mission.
Mallanna is typical Robin Hood story but the director has failed to present it effectively; he has resorted to the camera gimmickry and editing effects. Director Susi Ganeshan seems to have inspired by director Shankar as he has followed the same terrain. The film is shot extravagantly in various exotic locations and action stunts are superb but it doesn’t have soul and substance. By and large, it is kichidi of various flicks like Shivaji (Black Money, Economical Offences), Tagore (Hero and his friends acting like a gang), Shahenhha (Robin Hood kind of generosity), Aparichitudu (Getups), etc.
Grand locations, extravagant budget and some of the episodes are the best part of the film and rest is pretty ordinary. Theme and story is interesting but the treatment is lethargic. The film could have been better had the director concentrated more on screenplay rather than his self-indulgence (he acts in the film too).
Vikram dons various getup including women’s. He is good as lanky CBI officer but his getups are also good but they lack fizz. It is nice to hear Vikram’s own voice in Telugu. Shriya has done most glamorous role in her career. She has indulged in skin show heavily and also done a lip-lip kiss scene. But the romantic scenes between Vikram and Shriya irritate the audiences after sometime as they spoil the main story. Brahamanamdam’s comedy (in some theatres it was chopped off) is also irritating. Superstar Krishna in the role of a senior CBI officer is good although he has not much to do. Prabhu as investigating officer is okay, it is just an extension of Prakash Raj’s character in Tagore. Mumait Khan appears in an item song. Ashish Vidyardhi is okay. Mukesh Tiwari as richest person in AP does good job.
Devi Sri Prasad’s music is the core strength of the film. Excuse Me Mallanna and Mambo songs are the best from the lot. Technically the film is chic with slick production values. Cinematographer Ekambaram makes the film visually stunning but the color grading looks hotchpotch. The biggest villain in the film is editing part. Run time of the movie is heavy (with 3 hours 10 minutes) and ridiculous-editing effects have put strain on eyes. Producer Kalaipuli Thanu has pumped lot of money and the expenses are visible on the screen but looks like director has taken him for a ride.
The problem with the film is that you get a feeling of déjà vu as most of the action sequences and Vikram’s getups have been showing in trailers on TV channels. You don’t feel get thrilled when you actually see them on silver screen. Mallanna is kichidi of Shivaji, Tagore, Shahensha and Aparichitudu. Shot extravagantly but has no substance.
TC Rating: 2.75/5