Barring its protagonist who has a stammer-with-a-reason for a change, ‘Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel’ is a swing and miss that plays a safe game throughout.
In one particular scene in B Unnikrishnan’s ‘Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel’ Ansar (Aju Varghese) suggests to Balan Vakeel (Dileep), that this is a scene that merits a slow motion sauntering over towards the cameras. The lawyer beamingly obliges, and with Ansar and Anuradha (Mamta Mohandas) on either sides, does the walk, that pretty much emphasizes the state of affairs around.
Balan Vakeel, is the lawyer with a stutter, and as it goes, this is one speech disorder that does not do good in a profession that almost mandatorily requires verbal eloquence. The stammering has left Vakeel all distraught, and when he does win a favourable ruling in his first independent case ever, things look up, albeit for a brief while.
Vakeel’s brother in law Mohanan Pillai (Suraj Venjarammoodu) lands with a whopper offer, along with Anuradha, who claims that there has been an attempt to violate her modesty. On their insistence, Vakeel sends a legal notice to the man who had allegedly committed the crime, little realizing that the person is none other than the DGP of the state (Renji Panicker).
Double trouble awaits the Vakeel, when he is summoned by ADGP Indulekha (Lena), and on being questioned realizes that he has been tricked. Along with Anuradha and Ansar, he sets out to unfurl the mystery that lies behind the conspiracy against him, and in the process sets a few back stories of his own life in tact as well.
Vakeel’s family is no ordinary one, as Anuradha observes, and has a whacky dad (Siddique) who remains high most of the time. His mom (Bindu Panicker) is distressed that her son keeps visiting home way too often, that keeps her off the television serials that she so much adores. Together, they are a one-of-a-kind couple, and the most engaging moments in ‘Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel’ are thanks to them.
No prizes for noting that this is the third Dileep film in a row in which he plays a character who has been falsely implicated for a crime that he did not commit. This is also the third film in a row, where there has been a plot against him, and where he tries out every trick in the trade to set his record straight and to expose the real faces behind the scheme.
Realizing that the man is on the lookout for a place to stay, Ansar leads Vakeel over to a colony where he is not much warmly welcomed. The local goonda leader Babu (Bheeman Raghu) coincidentally has a stutter as well, and there is even a sequence where the entire colonywaalas shake a leg or two to beats of a song that has lyrics that go ‘Babuettaa..’ and go gaga over him.
The fight sequences of the film are inflated to a point where they have brought in truck loads of dry leaves to be blown around while Vakeel has a go at the thugs who have rallied around. And as if that isn’t enough, there is even an aside that proves that the valour on display is not a onetime instance, and that it has a solid ground that dates back to his college days, when he was the member of a revolutionary party; a phase that had seen quite a few scuffles.
The stuttering role is one that is always considered a challenge, and Dileep’s performance is more of a mixed affair, with instances aplenty where he has done a decent job and others where the struggle is a bit too obvious. It’s very rare to see Mamta Mohandas in a role of no consequence, and here she is in precisely such a role that requires none of the acting prowess that she is renowned for. The one actor who would be remembered after the show is probably without doubt, Siddque who delivers the goods with aplomb, bringing the house down on more than one occasion.
‘Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel’ has little of the drama or excitement that you would expect of a film with a courtroom setting and this lawyer’s saga of self-defence has quite a few slip-ups in the script, that ruin the case. Barring its protagonist who has a stammer-with-a-reason for a change, it is a swing and miss that plays a safe game throughout.