Second Show - Sparks of promise dampened by a cliched theme


06 Feb 2012


Following Dad's footsteps is not much in vogue in Malayalam cinema as compared to Bollywood. Prem Naseer's son Shanavas made a futile attempt. Prithviraj and Indrajit are exceptions and to a lesser degree Vineeth Srinivasan who all forayed into filmdom following their father's path. To this league comes the much awaited entry, that of the son of Mammootty, Dulquar Salman who debuts as Hari aka Lalu in 'Second show'. The usual fanfare and extravaganza usually attached with a starlet's debut was absent from the very beginning with no photographs or on location shooting reports of the movie. The whole thing was low key, even the release of the film and apart from Dulquar Salman having the tag of being the son of the reigning star, almost all the cast and crew of the movie are nonentities.

The thing to be appreciated about this venture is that a bunch of young people who are practically new to this world have tried to bring forth a meaningful cinema, keeping away from the jargons of popular cinema in its treatment of a done to death theme. They have succeeded to an extent in their genuine attempt, but the inexperience shows in many frames. The medium of cinema requires much effort and homework to master the art of telling a story visually; in that aspect the crew needs to go a long way.

The flip side of the movie is its overt dependence on the current crop of realist movies in Tamil; the rustic settings, lungi clad men, unsophisticated language, on your face depiction of violence and a realistic story. The influence of Hindi films like 'Delhi Belly' (the cool sidekick) 'LSD' (simulate reality, especially in the night scene when Lalu goes for sand smuggling the
camera angle and the raw output gives the feeling of it being shot on a surveillance cam) and '3 Idiots' (playing a doleful note on the violin in the background to create a comic effect on serious occasions) could also be seen. Trying to adapt a cinema verite style with hand held camera looks like a deliberate attempt jarring the flow of the movie, especially in the first half.

The story revolves around Lalu (Dulquar Salman) and his gang, a bunch of school drop outs who are ready to take any risk to earn a fast buck. They begin with sand mining, moving on to larger crimes and ruthless killings which end up in tragedy. Lalu loses his closest buddy and his lady love (Gauthami Nair) as he matures in crime. The inconstancy of the heroine is used to
make a dig at women and their love for money and material comfort, generalizing on certain notions prevalent in our society. Again other misconceptions like the quotation team members should either smoke or drink is consistently followed filling almost all the frame with scenes of cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption!

If the crew could dwell upon something other than the story of a group of friends, their deep rooted attachment, taking the wrong path for easy money, one member cheating on the group ('Subramanyapuram' effect writ largely all over) and come up with something novel that would have made a big difference as the director (Srinath Rajendran), script writer (Vini Viswalal),
cinematographer (Pappu) and lead actor Dulquar Salman are promising in their respective fields. Another aspect worth mentioning is the character Kurudi (Sunny) who steals the show many a time.

Shahina K Rafiq