As age is catching up with him now, talented actor-director Ravichandran is trying to experiment with roles in old getups as Kannada movie icons Dr. Raj Kumar and Dr. Vishnuvardhan had done earlier.
Ravichandran in playing a double role in his latest release Mallikarjuna, a remake of Tamil actor Vijayakanth-starrer Thavasi. He plays the roles of a disciplined law abiding father and his obedient son Surya, who is prepared to do anything for his father.
Mallikarjuna`s adversary Vishakanta focuses all his efforts to undermine the importance of the former in the village. He marries Mallikarjuna`s daughter and kills her. The rest of the story unfolds how after Mallikarjuna is blamed for the death of an innocent servant by Vishakanta, his son takes revenge on Vishakanta.
The sentimental sequences are quite boring while the comedy sequences fail to sink with the audience. The film`s narration is so inconsistent and the pace is so slow that this experiment fails to make any impact on the audience. The dialogues of the film are a dampener while the music by S.A. Raj Kumar is also disappointing. Except for the song Chanda Chanda, the others are not so impressive.
Many of the artists in the film seem miscast,including the suave and modern looking Sada who does not look like an intelligent village girl.
Ravichandran shines in the father`s role though his getup for the role looks quite absurd and covers his face most of the times. The son`s role is a cake-walk for him as he has performed such roles many times. Ramya Barna is also impressive in a small role.
Mallikarjuna`s story fails to connect with today`s audience. Thavasi, released in the year 2001, was just an ordinary fare at the box-office and director Murali Mohan has not tried to make any changes from the original film to suit tastes of the present audience.
It may be a good watch for Ravichandran`s hardcore fans. But for others it is certainly a tedious presentation.