Ayudham, directed by Nishad, is the latest cop tale from action hero Sureshgopi, who has already become a 'police icon' for his role in khaki in an array of successful investigative thrillers in Malayalam. Ayudham has all the ingredients expected in a typical Sureshgopi thriller. It begins with a blast (literally) and predictably, ends well after critically commenting upon the various political and current events (as usual) such as the privatisation of ports, the real estate boom funded by capitalists and corrupt politicians. In fact, Ayudham tries to portray nothing new!
The movie begins with a series of bomb blasts that trigger off communal riots in a peaceful coastal village, Vilayam. The police, under Commissioner of Police Mahendra Varma (Anil Adithyan), find a mobile phone from the explosion scene and from this phone, he tracks a software engineer named Anwar Abdullah (Bala), son of Abdullah Mukri (Murali). Anwar is soon arrested at Chennai only because he got some anonymous calls on the said date from some strangers, allegedly involved in the blast.
However, the arrest turns into a controversy when Anwar's family and well- wishers go to court to demand an independent inquiry, alleging that the investigation is not proceeding in the right direction. The court orders the Government to hand over the case to the Crime Branch or the CBI.
As directed by the court, Chief Minister Madhavan (Thilakan) decides to bring in the Crime Branch and appoints DIG Rishikesh IPS (Sureshgopi) to conduct the probe. Rishikesh ropes in the services of two Police Officers - Hamza and Rappai, after the Chief Minister assures him there will be no political interference. As the investigation progresses, Rishikesh and his colleagues, as usual, nab the culprits.
Suresh Gopi as Rishikesh repeats himself for the umpteenth time in this stereotyped role and acts in the sequences as if he is uncomfortable in the police uniform. Perhaps it's because of lack of two vital elements in the script by S.L. Puram Jayasoma -- the indispensable punch lines and the obligatory plotline.
Thilakan has attempted to imitate the present Chief Minister V.S. Achuthananthan quite convincingly. His dialogues are written as if the director had studied recent newspapers to find quotable remarks of V.S. Achuthananthan to receive applause from the audience.
Bala, Anil Adithyan, Murali and the rest of the cast, including Jagathy Sreekumar, Rajan P. Dev, Sadiq, Nishant Sagar, Baburaj, Mohanraj, Shammi Thilakan, Sudheesh and Sivaji Guruvayoor have done justice to their respective roles. The two young heroines, Bharathi and Karthika, do not have anything to impress the audience.
Technical aspects like cinematography and art direction by Gireesh Menon are in sync with the mood while P.C. Mohanan's editing could have been better. Sanjeev Shankar, who handles the camera, has made visuals that aptly suit an action thriller, but with little support from the script lines, he can't make his presence felt. A high point of the film is a lively song sung by K.J. Yesudas and Manjari with a well-choreographed dance sequence.
Ayudham looks just like any other police story made during the past several years. Except for some remarkable resemblance of the characters played by Thilakan and Suresh Gopi to some real life personalities, Ayudham offers nothing new!
Banner Channel Entertainments
Cast Sureshgopi, Karthika, Bharathi, Bala, Biju Menon, Jagathy Sreekumar, Jagadeesh, Suraj Venjaramood, Nishanth Sagar, Asokan, Thilakan, Murali, Rajeevan, Suman, Rajan P. Dev, Shammi Thilakan
Camera Sanjeev Shankar
Music Alphonse Joseph, Biji Pal
Editing P.C. Mohanan
Art Direction Gireesh Menon.