AM Sidhique’s debut film, “LLB,” which intriguingly stands for Life Line of Bachelors, kicks off within the confines of a college environment. The opening scene unfolds with the announcement of election results, followed by the winners engaging in a stereotypical campus dance number. Despite initial expectations of these scenes holding narrative significance, they merely serve as a vehicle to acquaint the audience with the campus and its lively atmosphere. Unfortunately, the film is an amalgamation of outdated concepts, evident in both its writing and direction.
Initially positioning itself as a youthful entertainer centered around three college students – Sibi, Salman, and Sanju – LLB follows the lives of Sibi (Sreenath Bhasi) and Salman (Vishak Nair), Kasaragod natives pursuing law in Kozhikode. The narrative explores their carefree existence and the quest for a new place before being joined by Sanju (Aswath Lal), a newcomer to their course. The first half is laden with clichés, featuring a song almost every 15 minutes to encapsulate the supposedly ‘fun’ student days. Additionally, Sibi experiences a love-at-first-sight moment, rapidly evolving into a romantic relationship.
Directed by AM Sidhique, a real-life police officer, the film inevitably transitions into a crime story early in the second half. LLB harbors a promising plot but is hindered by a lackluster, predictable screenplay and uninspiring execution. The performances contribute to the film’s wearisome nature.
Despite Sreenath Bhasi’s proven acting prowess in previous works, his portrayal in LLB lacks sincerity, with moments where he appears disinterested, except during the climax. Vishak Nair’s performance mirrors his previous roles, particularly his ‘Romeo’ act from films like Anandam and Chunkzz. Notably, Aswath Lal, recognized for his role in Hridayam, outshines the others with a sincere performance, revealing his true potential.
The film’s generous casting of first-time actors, unfortunately, results in amateurish performances. Moreover, the actors portraying college students often appear too mature, blurring the line between students and guardians. Perhaps a deliberate choice to comment on lingering troublemakers post-graduation, the decision detracts from the film’s authenticity. Anoop Menon’s entry towards the end further contributes to the overall mediocrity.
LLB, with a runtime of approximately 122 minutes, feels interminable in reaching its conclusion. The film attempts to salvage its impact with a poignant ending involving the sacrifice of one of the main characters for organ donation. However, by this point, the audience is emotionally detached, rendering the resolution largely inconsequential.