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Cast : Mammootty, Siddique, N F Varghese, VaniViswanadh, Poornima Mohan, Mallika Sarabhai
Director : T V Chandran
Tinged with a profuse dose of humour that lies as powerful undercurrent throughout the film, T V Chandran's latest offbeat offering 'Danny' provides a bleak look at the harshness, snobbery and cruelty of modern urban life. However, there is not a slightest shred of innovation in this narrative concoction that revolves around a man who is at the crossroads of life. It fails to delve deep into the turbulence of contemporary society.
The film can be interpreted as a sharp criticism of the state of modern society with a major thrust on changing facets of human nature, its profound implications and effects on an alienated lot who suffers in silence.
Mammootty is playing the protagonist Daniel Thomson, an impoverished saxophone player who has passed through different phases of life while remaining as a silent spectator to the changing facets of history. A mute witness to the ongoing process of transformation in every sphere of life, Danny represents thousands of people who are not able to participate in the social movements chiefly because of their personal problems. Danny finds his life turned upside down because of some compelling situations. He married two women at two different stages of his life. The first one was Clara (Raji Menon) and the second Maggi (Vani Viswanath). And up to this time he had one and only best friend in his life - Mr. Freddy (Siddique). He shares his innermost feelings with Freddy. And one day he comes to get acquainted with an old woman, a retired college professor Bhargaviyamma (Mallika Sarabhai) - a mother who also had everything in her life once; and now, in the twilight years of her life there is nobody to look after her. Her life was entirely different from that of Danny. She didn't face any turbulent situation like that faced by him, neither she had any of such experiences too. She had everything in her life, once - good education, money, children etc. But if we consider the case 'love', both are in the same condition now. And thus, something that they don't know makes them close to each other day-by-day. The deep friendship is created between them and their flashbacks are the real content of this film. An unusual bond is established between them as a result of their ostracism from the mainstream society.
A substantial portion of the film is shot on picturesque locations. Some of the characterizations are too facile to make an impact. The second half of the film slips away completely as Mallika Sarabhai enters the scene and the movie progresses on expected lines with predictable scenes. To be honest, almost every performance has something good in it, from Mammootty's portrayal of the protagonist to Siddique's Freddy. With a better script and better direction some thing truly exceptional could have come out, perhaps even a classic. Instead a halfheartedly made film serves up as great only in comparison to some commendable ventures in the mainstream during the second half of eighties.
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