It has been twenty years since Sundar Dass directed his very first movie. The movie was Sallaapam that happened way back in 1996 and as we all know, Sallaapam was a hit movie that gave Dileep a much needed break. Now the duo reunite for another film with the humour genre with a screenplay written by Benny.P.Nayarambalam. Barring a few successful jokes, Welcome to Central Jail is a disappointing film. Very little of the comedy part have been able to create genuine laughs leaving the film on a sticky wicket.
Unnikuttan, that's the name of the character that Dileep plays in the movie. Unnikuttan was born and brought up inside the jail premises since his parents were serving sentences. So he considers jail as his ancestral home and gets involved with petty crimes to return back to his 'home' after releasing. This situation continues until he meets and falls in love with a girl who also lands up in jail.
A major portion of the film except the first half involve Unnikuttan's desperate attempt to prove the innocence of the girl and get her released. The first half just wander without much focus except those lacklustre comedies that doesn't have any standards at all. You can close your eyes on that saying it is a Dileep movie which is primarily intended for a target audience who may like it. But I am afraid to say, WTCJ doesn't have the stuff in it to entertain the audience.
With a threadbare storyline and quite a lot of double meaning dialogues and situations, the movie except for a couple of occasions has humour which was more or less being forced upon the audience. Even when critics were panning Dileep's previous flicks for their content and quality, those movies could set the cash registers ringing since they had some stuff on the fun side for entertainment. But the situation in Welcome to the central jail is worse. It is all the more disappointing to note that people like Sundar Dass and Benny.P.Nayarambalam having years of experience in the industry are responsible for inflicting this torture on the audience.
Dileep repeats what he has been doing for years. While some of his humour acts was okay, many others were far from convincing with the actor at times doing overacting. Vedhika, the female lead didn't had anything to perform as such. Aju Varghese, Renji Panicker, Sharafudeen, Sidhique, Vinayaprasad, Shajon, Kochupreman, Haresh are all part of a long line up of actors to support.
Cinematography and editing were just okay. The making and presentation had an outdated feel while the music department, be it songs or background score, none of it could do anything substantial.
Overall, the movie is a washout. Except for a few pieces of comedy to laugh at, as a total picture, Welcome To Central Jail is a forgettable movie that will have a tough time fighting against the other three festive releases all of which have garnered good word of mouth publicity as well as thumbs up from critics.
Rating - 1.5 / 5