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1744 White Alto movie review: Senna Hegde’s over-the-top comedy attempt tries hard, but fails at scoring laughs

Senna Hegde, who has also co-scripted the film, doesn’t make use of its quirky characters and instead puts them in situations that you have already seen before

2.5/5rating
1744 White Alto movie review: Senna Hegde’s over-the-top comedy attempt tries hard, but fails at scoring laughs
A still from 1744 White Alto
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 10.25 AM, Nov 18, 2022

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Story: Vijayan, a miscreant, in a drunken stupor gets his car exchanged with that of two criminals, who are on the run for killing a man and injuring another. Police inspector Mahesh along with his motley crew of subordinates begin their ‘chase’ for the two crooks. What follows is a comedy of errors that have grave consequences for every party involved.

Review: Director Senna Hegde has frequently stated that 1744 White Alto is as different as can be from his acclaimed film Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam. He is not wrong. His latest film is the director’s attempt at the over-the-top comedy set in a fictional world as opposed to the realistic movie with a rooted setting. And that’s fine, because it allows the makers enough freedom to come up with a whacky film with zany characters, but where 1744 White Alto flounders is that it never quite uses the characters and setting as the script is riddled with cliché situations.

The movie essentially revolves around a cat-and-mouse game with a motley crew of cops and two crooks. This should make for some hilarious situations when the cops are dull-witted and those they are chasing, darkly funny. But Senna, who has also co-scripted the film, doesn’t make use of these characters and puts them in situations that you have already seen before. For instance, you have the hero, Mahesh the police inspector, dealing with a personal crisis between his wife and mother in the middle of an investigation. These sequences, however, seem too forced and the writing lazy. The plot also doesn’t progress much in the film, which is only 110 minutes long.

A still from 1744 White Alto
A still from 1744 White Alto

Though Malayalam cinema has had its fair share of comedies with wafer-thin storylines that evoked plenty of laughs, 1744 White Alto falls short, mainly because of its characters. Despite their antics, they are neither interesting nor whacky enough to put you in a zone to appreciate the film. Among the characters, only that of Anand Manmadhan, a brooding, silent goon who enjoys wrestling and English movies, stands out. Rajesh Madhavan and Sharafudheen try too hard to make the comedy work and that doesn’t help matters.

A still from 1744 White Alto
A still from 1744 White Alto

1744 White Alto’s cinematography accentuates its ‘dustbowl’ setting, but it also takes time to get adjusted to the tone. The film’s art department deserves credit for creating a world – filled with dust and grime, almost a reflection of its characters. While the minimalistic approach in art worked, you would miss the team had put in some more effort in writing.

Verdict: Senna Hegde’s 1744 White Alto’s comedy tries too hard but fails to score, due to its lacklustre writing.

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