Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sagar Alias Jacky - Movie Review

Cast: Mohanlal, Bhavana, Suman, Jagathy Sreekumar, Shobhana, Nedumudi Venu, Manoj K. Jayan, Ganesh, Vinayakan, Baiju, Sumeeth, Sreeraman
Director & Cinematography: Amal Neerad
Producer: Antony Perumbavoor
Music : Gopi Sundar
Lyrics: Rio Joy
Art Direction: Joseph Nellickal
Screenplay/Script: S N Swamy

Marketing is a very very important concept in today's world. If we just look around us we can see extremely brilliant marketing concepts created by marketing whizzes who get paid 4 and 5 digit salaries (4 and 5 digits in Rial Omani). In fact several people believe that the life we live today is entirely controlled by multi-national corporations and advertisements (remember 'Fight Club' ??)……well that is another topic for another day. Several great movies have attained Hall of Fame stature and record box-office collections only because of good marketing tactics and several wonderful movies haven't reached mainstream audience because of lack of proper marketing. 'Kaante' is a prime example of brilliant marketing techniques. A lot of hype was built around the movie before its original release date, and its release got delayed more than once, in fact its release got delayed by several months, people were waiting with bated breath and when it released it became bollywood cult classic. Yes a lot of it is due to the huge style quotient of the flick, but the truth of the matter is that the script nor screenplay is really very exciting……for a true movie buff its an insult of Tarantino's classic 'Reservoir Dogs' on which the movie is based, but who cares, the extremely stylish actors, cult dialogues, and absolutely splendid technical perfection of the movie has made it a must-watch bollywood flick.

21 years back a super-hit Malayalam film 'Irupatham Noottandu' ('20th Century' for non-malayalees) rewrote box-office records of that time and also the malayali viewers perception of the underworld. This is the movie in which we get introduced to the charismatic gold smuggler Jacky, Sagar alias Jacky (Mohanlal, for those of you living in the Stone Age). Sagar is his alibi in the normal world with a decent image and Jacky is the feared and notorious underworld kingpin. The movie was directed by crime-thriller specialist K.Madhu and scripted by S.N.Swamy and it was a brilliant movie with the right amounts of everything.

'Sagar Alias Jacky Reloaded' shows the gold smuggler Sagar who has now grown into an international Don, almost like the character Shahrukh plays in the movie 'Don'. Sagar has a base in Dubai and several in India and his name evokes a fear even in the most cold-blooded & powerful criminals. Nobody can stand in his way and nobody can get the better of him. Sagar has grown into an extremely shrewd Mafia Killer cum Smuggler and has many tricks up his sleeve. Well I am not going to discuss the plot of the movie anymore mainly because there is no more plot that's worth discussing.

The director of the movie, Amal Neerad, was an assistant to Ram Gopal Varma for several years, and all those years of training have really paid off. He is a technical genius with a very good eye for style. The casting, lighting, cinematography and editing are magnificent, to say the least. No other Malayalam movie except for 'Big B' ('Four Brothers' remake by Amal Neerad himself, it was his debut movie as director) has the massive dollops of style and glamour that SAJ (Sagar Alias Jacky) has. Stunning shots of exotic cars, a couple of exotic babes, great resorts, mind-blowing action sequences and really stylish guys are the main features of this movie. All the actors who played a role in 'Big B' have managed to land a role in this flick too. The movie is heavily inspired by a lot of other movies of the same genre. There's a touch of 'Sarkar' when Sagar refuses to let criminal mastermind Naina(played by telugu actor Suman) land his ships loaded with drugs and weapons anywhere on Kerala soil, there's a lot of inspiration from 'Kaante' and Farhan Akhtar's 'Don' , a Ram Gopal feeling is there throughout the movie, the climax is an exact(and I really mean it !!) copy of 'Swordfish' and of course a lot of photography and action is highly influenced by the most influential action flick of all time, The Matrix.

Loved it for : Slick Cinematography, groovy background score, trendy costumes, superlative technical perfection, a totally chic Jyotiramayi (it's really unbelievable how much the anchor of a 2-nd grade soap/family reality show has transformed into an item girl !!!)

Hated it for : Disappointing us after all that hype, lack of a plausible storyline, really damp dialogues, so many slow-motion scenes that we guys walked out of the theatre in slow-motion !! The only reason this movie doesn't get a full 5 stars for 'Style Quotient in a Malayalam Flick' is because of the overdose of slow-motion sequences and a general overdose of style.