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Cm'on guys... don't be so critical... Mulla is not that bad as the critics make out through the reviews. Admitted Mulla is not in the league of Lal Jose's earlier ventures "Arabhikadha" or "Achan Urangatha Veedu", but definitely it is good within the commercial parameters of an entertainer. Lal Jose had tried to be different and the effort shows at most of the parts. Call it co-incidence, when I went to Trivandrum last time I saw Lal Jose - Dileep - Vidyasagar team's blockbuster "Meeshamadhavan" and this second time I happened to see the same team's "Mulla" in Anjali theatre. I went to the theatre well aware of the negative criticisms through the internet. But Lal Jose had kept me thoroughly entertained for the 2 1/2 hours even though the movie comes no where near the same team's "Meesha Madhavan".

Mulla (Dileep), a thug from the slum of Karadikadu, is named after his prostitute mother who always wears a handfull of jasmine flowers. Mulla earns his livelihood by working for Nambi (Biju Menon), a goon. On an occassion Mulla comes across a child in train and gives it to Lachi (debutante Meera Nandhan), a traveller. Lachi is a lower class working girl, who is strong willed but a sweet heart. Her father had been killed in an accident. Lachi's marriage proposal suffers because of the child, so she returns it to Mulla. She frequently visits Mulla's place to look after the child and slowly a romance brews between them. By the time her mother consents to marriage, twist comes that it was Nambi who killed her father.. Now Mulla picks up the cudgel on behalf of his lady love but Destiny has other plans... . There are many redeeming features in "Mulla" like innovative story ambience with the film mostly shot in train..

{mosimage}The movie unfolds from the view point of Lachi who comes running to catch the Palani train. The story then travels forth back in flashback mode with a stranger trying to garner her attention. Infact the movie should have been named as "Lachi" instead of "Mulla" as the movie travels in Lachi's perspective. Yet the screenplay is linear in narrative. Sindhurajan's story and screen play is just OK. The first half of the movie travels lightly in the fragile shoulders of Meera Nandhan but something is missing in the second half of the movie. Looks like there was a confusion of which way to proceed further - as a love story or as an action movie.

May be Lal Jose wanted to make a make a regular masala movie, he thrusts two songs un-necessarily to cater the front benchers. Tamil song "Kattuda" shot on Tamil actor Ashok and "Ee Raavil" are speed breakers, especially the latter. The second half moves in predictable lines. In the climax, Lal Jose had tried to be neutral in justification stand.

{mosimage}The major strength of the movie is casting with lot of new comers on roll. Biju Menon is menacing as Nambi anna showing his comical side in the "Kattuda" (Tamil song). Meera Nandan is a revelation with a soothing screen presence. This girl will go places provided if she works a bit on emoting. Reena Basheer as slum girl Vasanthi makes her presence felt in the half baked role. Shruti as Nambi's wife is adequate. Lal Jose's regulars Salim Kumar, Sukumari are there. Bhavana's cameo is definitely captivating. The new guy who has debuted as heroine's uncle is apt with a good body language.

{mosimage}Vidyasagar reunites with Lal Jose after a gap of 3 years following the debacle of their last outing "Rasikan". Vidyasagar shamelessly lifts the tamil folk song "Onnam Padi Eduththu" into "Aarumugan munni chennu.." - a Kavadi song. "Kanavukal" and "Kannin Vadhil.." sounds good but rest are just gap fillers. S.Kumar's camera had given this budget movie a sheen look as major part of the movie was shot in train.

To sum up, Mulla is definitely an entertaining movie if you don't expect any messages in the movie.

Lal Jose had written the role with Meera Jasmine in mind. When it came to execution, so many factors like date availability, budget and the risk of her previous movies with Dileep (Vinodayatra & Calcutta News in a row) making a stale pair, had made Lal Jose to opt for a new comer. Lal Jose's regular Indrajith's wife Poornima Mohan recommended Meera Nandhan to Lal Jose. So Lachi's mannerisms were typically Meera Jasmine's. Even though Lachi is not a great role for Ms. Jasmine, it could have been a refreshing change to watch her in a light hearted role amidst of heavy duty stuffs she does these days.