Masterpiece movie cast: Mammootty, Varalakshmi Sarathkumar
Masterpiece movie director: Manju Mandavya
Masterpiece movie rating: 2 stars
Masterpiece has come out at a time when Superstar Mammootty has been taking a lot of heat for acting in a controversial film called Kasaba last year. (Well, if you watch Malayalam films, you must be following the controversy that also includes charges of glorifying misogyny against Mammootty. I will spare you the details.)
Mammootty has kept a studious silence about the whole controversy. In what seems like a first step to make peace with people that may have been offended by his film Kasaba, in Masterpiece Mammootty clarifies, “I respect women.” He says the three magic words in the film repeatedly, just so it reaches everyone. Without a doubt, the trailer of Masterpiece would have broken the internet, had the filmmakers included Mammootty’s “I respect women” phrase in it. (I only wonder why they didn’t do it.) The audience really seemed to enjoy when Mammootty repeated these three words as everyone could immediately spot the relevance and the need of it in the film.
Mammootty’s Edward Livingstone is lovingly called Eddie, by the students and staff at the college where he teaches English literature and has a formidable reputation there. He joins the college at a time when it is in the middle of a turmoil following a series of unfortunate events. Vedika (Mahima Nambiar), a student of a different college, is found dead in the campus of Travancore Maharajas College. She is raped and bludgeoned to death. The police investigation led by John Thekkan IPS (Unni Mukundan), soon concludes that the culprit is Unnikrishnan (Gokul Suresh), who was Vedika’s love interest. A few scenes later he is also found hanging in the police custody. His alleged suicide is one ill-conceived scene that is incapable of convincing a living being that has the gift of logical thinking.
After Gokul’s death, the police decide that he is not the culprit and zero in on a bunch of new suspects. The suspects are students of Travancore Maharajas College, who have indirectly contributed to the untimely death of two lovers in hindsight. Most of the characters in this film seem to lack convincing reason or motivation to do what they do. And writer Uday Krishna seems to lack any real knowledge about how the criminal justice system works in our country.
The film aims to sell itself as a thriller but it fails terribly. It is very hard to buy a second of anything that happens in Masterpiece, except for scenes involving Captain Raju. The veteran actor plays himself in the film and tickles the funny bones with self-deprecating humour.
A miscast Mammootty comes up very short on making an impact. And Unni Mukundan is lousy as a top cop. A ramp-walk model role would have been more appropriate for him. Poonam Bajwa as glamours teacher is an eye candy, while Mukesh as Vice Principal Cherian Joseph has nothing to contribute to the narration. And the rest of the cast can be just described as “fillers.”
The title Masterpiece is a misnomer for this film, which is another wrong decision in Mammootty’s career.