Mr. Fraud is a Malayalam action thriller starring Mohanlal.
The film is about a conman, lovingly referred to by his assistants as Bhai Ji (Mohanlal), and his last mission. He wants to end his con career with a bang and accepts an offer to steal treasures from a family that used to be royalty. The film is about how the mission is carried out and what happens to the characters and the treasure at the end.
I find it difficult to say bad things about a Mohanlal film because I’m partial to Mohanlal. It’s not that Mohanlal’s films are perfect. It’s that his screen presence is so strong that he could be playing any random character in a film with an average story and I would still enjoy it because he is in the film. This is also the case for Mr. Fraud where Mohanlal plays a negative character. Even though this character is negative, I could not dislike the character because it is being played by Mohanlal.
In this film, I saw Mohanlal in two different avatars. One is that of a fraudster, a criminal, a thief. The other is the usual lovable Mohanlal, his signature characterization. I have not seen every Mohanlal film but in the ones I have seen, he has always played lovable characters. It was a different experience to see him in this conman avatar and I must say that in the scenes where he acts as a good person, I felt more comfortable. I think I prefer the lovable, intriguing Mohanlal who smiles often, says witty things, has a sense of humor and speaks with his eyes. That side of him seems very familiar to me as a viewer and I think that when I decide to see a Mohanlal film, I do so to see Mohanlal in that way.
There are many actors in Indian cinema. But there are only a few actors who connect with the audience completely and inspire them. I’m a person who doesn’t get impressed easily and Mohanlal is one of the few actors who inspire me. I actually think that this has more to do with actors’ real character rather than what they portray on screen. Yes, a good actor is one that can play different types of characters successfully. But a talented actor is someone who can impress and connect the audience by portraying parts of their own character, creating a unique avatar and a lasting impression. In every sense of the word, Mohanlal is a talented actor.
I made a comment recently that a single scene can make us fall in love with a film, and a single scene can make us hate it. That doesn’t necessary mean that a film is wonderful or terrible. I think the same applies to actors. You might not connect with an actor as I have and I make not like an actor that you have connected with. It’s all very subjective, this is something that is very personal and individualistic.
I realize that I’ve gone on talking about Mohanlal and nor Mr. Fraud. Let’s just put it this way, Mr. Fraud is a decent watch. It’s not the best thriller I have seen. It had a few moments where I felt curiosity and intrigue. But overall, the surprise elements in the film were not very effective. I only recommend the film for Mohanlal fans. His performance, as usual, is very enjoyable. Those who are not Mohanlal fans will not miss anything if they decide not to see the film.
A few different things to look out for in this film are that Mohanlal has some good action scenes and production value is good. I did not think that he looked good as a singer in the beginning of the film. It wasn’t believable. But he was not bad in the action scenes and I think that’s quite a feat for someone his age. You’ll also get to see some cool technology in a few scenes of the film.
I also want to mention Saikumar, Siddique and Mia George who were excellent in their roles. Especially Saikumar’s acting is on par with Mohanlal. He blew me over with his dialogues and facial expressions.
Oh and do you guys remember that girl who played Imran’s girlfriend in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na? She has a small role in this film as an assistant to Mohanlal. I had been wondering where she had disappeared to. I just learned her name, it’s Manjari Phadnis. She always reminds me of Shilpa Shetty.