LL7K _ a visual marvel that disappoints as a film
Anil Radhakrishnan Menon's Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi, one of the most anticipated movies of the recent times, boasts of many things -- an ensemble cast, a significant message, marvellous visual effects, and beautiful picturisation -- but it suffers from flaws in the narration.
The film has a plot that is not seen before in Malayalam. Six strangers residing in various parts of India -- all Malayalis except one Tamilian -- embark on a trip to an unknown forest after receiving a letter. They all reach an interior village bordering forests following the directions in the letter, where they meet Malavedan (Sudheer Karamana) who guides them through the dense forests.
The movie begins with establishing the six characters -- C K A K Menon (Nedumudi Venu), Retired Defense Secretary; Shanumgan Ilangovan aka Sam (Bharath), adventurer; Madhumita Krishnan aka Madhu (Reenu Mathews), gun testing expert; Beeran (Sunny Wayne), street magician; Prof. N. Neelakandan (Chemban Vinod Jose), a Zoology professor who has a PhD in animal excreta; and Ananthakrishnan Iyer (Jacob Gregory), a chemical engineer -- and it has been done in detail.
Yet, the description is not convincing enough because we wonder why they would pack bags and take off on receiving the letter. By the time it's explained, we are half way through the story and the jungle.
The best visuals of Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi are unveiled during the gang's trekking. Forests hide many wonders and the movie has two such instances which leave the audience awestruck.
Finally, they reach the destination -- 7000 Kandi, a village -- and meet the sender of the letters -- Philipose John Varkey. Philipose is a 'survivalist', Man vs Wild man, adventurer, and environmentalist. His mission is to protest 7000 Kandi, where reside a tribal civilization elusive to the modern world, and wants the gang to join him. A multi-national corporation has its eyes set on the forest and its hidden treasures. Whether they would be able to succeed and how forms the second half of the movie.
The visual effects are so good and Varun Krishnan and Dileep Varma, who had worked in 'Life of Pi', are the superstars of the film. Speaking of the cast, Chemban Vinod and Gregory deserve special mention.
Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi tried to drive home the message of need to conserve forests without a preaching tone, but it failed in execution.