Back story: – This is supposedly a remake of the Malayalam block buster ‘22 female Kottayam’, which again had drawn inspiration from the following films.
‘Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Sriram Raghavan’s Ek Hasina Thi, Double Jeopardy, Mahesh Bhatt’s Gumrah, Australian miniseries Bangkok Hilton and N. Sankaran Nair’s Cabaret Dancer (credited as filmography).
The penis-cutting and interrogation scenes were inspired from the films Antichrist, Hard Candy and Hostel: Part II. The film was also reportedly inspired from the 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave, which was remade in 2010. Woman’s fate, her revenge with the villains and cutting the genitals can be seen in both the films’ – Wikipedia
WOW! I don’t think I now need to further elaborate on the story line as I am sure most viewers would have watched one of the above mentioned films if not just click on one of the titles and viola! The content of M 22 P will be revealed!
The story, backdrop and setting (Screen play), the story revolves around rape & revenge. The only possible exception being that the revenge seeking protagonist is a female. (Nithya Menon).
The first half opens rather dramatically with the battered heroine being booked at a busy mall and huddled into a waiting police van. (Thank god the usual voice over was not used) It then continues with the visualization of a traumatic and terrified heroine inside the four walls of a prison. It then goes on a flash back mode highlighting the bubbly Malini (a practicing nurse) and her two friends.
One is a concubine to a local big shot and the other, Kovai Sarala, is an aging nurse and a spinster who ogles at men any age, size or shape. In comes the hero Varun who is processing Malini’s visa papers to enable her to secure a job in Canada.
This half also highlights a heart patient under Malini’s care who dotes on her. Apart from this you have the friendly and genial Prakash who happens to be Varun’s boss. This half mainly focuses on the Malini and Varun falling in love and is rather flat, listless and clichéd.
A couple of songs are also added to slow down things further. The first half suddenly explodes and ends with a violent scene (To keep you hopeful of a better and engrossing 2nd half).
The second half mainly connects with the opening scene of the film and here the director attempts to fill in the details with Malini being framed and jailed for possessing a small amount of narcotics etc. Inside the jail she befriends the pregnant Janaki supposedly a dreaded female con but Janaki’s bark is worse than her bite.
Malini’s sojourn in jail and her few tame encounters with the other cons fail to enliven the proceedings beyond a point. Then everything happens all at once. The heart patient leaves her a small fortune, Malini plays mid wife and delivers Janaki’s baby and in return Janaki’s gang extend their whole hearted support.
The hit man who enters the prison as a female is dealt with by another female con. Malini achieves the seemingly impossible gets bail. Malini comes out meticulously puts in place and executes a plan for avenging those who vandalized and brutalized her (Hollywood style).
Characterization of the actors:
Malini – Nithya Menon in the first half seems to be out of sync with the hero. Her chemistry with the hero seems to be forced and somehow innocuous. Her initial portions in the prison as the scared and petrified entrant is convincing but the director fails to show the real raw footage of how an innocent girl feels on entering a prison.
(‘Orange is the new black’). Even though in the rape scenes Nithya is convincing as an actor the director once again fails to bring out any tangible feelings of sympathy or empathy towards the victim by enhancing the visuals with better footage through the camera.
Nithya comes on her own in the second half by bettering her performance but here again the director could have handled her better by cutting down on the retro and clichéd dialogues and instead could have visually exploited Nithya’s raw talent. This would have made the female protagonist stand out. But in the end all Nithya’s efforts are nullified and in vain owing to the poor execution on the part of the director.
Varun (Nanda look alike) for most portions looks ordinary and probably just adequate in others. In fact I wonder why in most scenes his eyes look reddish as if he has not had enough sleep (insomnia?).
In fact his boss who is supposedly suffering from insomnia looks very much more relaxed and at ease. Though he had quite a meaty role in this film he just fails to fully capitalize on the opportunity given to him.
Kovai Sarala I really wish that actors like her are in future used by directors to telling effect instead of idiotic and irritating roles like the one in this film. The humor, the Malayalam accent, her exaggeration and her body language as characterized by the director embarrassed me leave alone the actor.
Naresh other than Nithya Menon he is the only other actor whose performance and characterization stood out in this film. The actor fits the bill and has performed to his potential. Though in the final scene he did exceed in portraying his emotions a tad bit.
Kota Srinivasa Rao as the benefactor, though his characterization is the emotion and pathos quotient of the film it just fails to stir the emotions it is intended to.
Vidyullekha though she has done her bit in this film. I really wonder what the director had in mind while casting her as Malini’s sister. She really has no role to play in this film and in the second half a forgotten Shalini is recalled in the second half to do a cameo!
Janaki has performed probably better than the role the director had envisaged for her but why make her pregnant! Was it to create empathy to Rajeev’s assassin ‘Nalini’? I wonder!
The other actors in this film are far and few and really not worth a mention.
The suspense elements (though predictable):- The hero and the villain.
The only surprise element (stereo typed from a typical Hollywood film):- The rape and the revenge scenes.
Additional points of interest The final F*** dialogue!
Art director The bar set up on the terrace. (Innovative and cost saving)
The not so convincing part The heroine not suspecting the villain’s play even after the dialogue ‘Varun is like my brother’. The total absence of Malini’s sister and the friends in the second half. Malini’s sister, friends and her benefactor’s failure to post her bail. Total lack of police investigation. Finally why is ‘Palyamkottai’ even part of the title?
WOW factor: – Even a simple circumcision develops complications but in this film the penis is very easily removed by one single trained nurse. Wow!
The biggest goof up the scar on the cheek is wiped off by Malini while she is in the process of wiping her tears with her hand.
Manoj Pillai has done a fairly decent job. Some of the locations are pleasing to the eye though he could have been better utilized while capturing some of the more violent scenes.
Music by Aravind-Shankar music and back ground score is just adequate. The songs are old fashioned and nothing new or appealing to talk about.
Editor Bavan Sreekumar is to be complimented on using the cuts well on the more graphically violent scenes.
Finally to sum it all up:- Far below expectations especially from an experienced and old hand like actor Sripriya though this is her first film as a director.
Left right & Centre: – I have decided to skip these comments for this film!
Bottom Line: – Rape victims suffer from insomnia!
Quote ‘I’m a 20 year old female and in February last year I was raped by 5 guys after my drink was spiked on a night out. Although I’ve reported them anonymously I cannot get over what happened to me. Every night since it happened I stay up until it’s daylight in my room so I feel safe enough to sleep and so the flashbacks I get are easier to manage, but it’s having a huge impact on my social life and my university work. I’m only getting 2 or 3 hours sleep maximum every ‘night’. I’m on the waiting list for counseling at the moment, but it could still be up to another 6 months.’
The above article is by Haricharan and it is not TamilWire’s take towards anyone or anything