CBI 5 The Brain Review: Mammootty effortlessly transforms into Sethurama Iyer in an intelligently woven script

Ending all the speculations and rumors about the storyline, Mammootty‘s Sethurama Iyer is back, and just like in the past, he is soft, subtle, sharp, and smooth when it comes to investigating a case from the scratch. CBI 5 The Brain, the fifth chapter in the CBI franchise, directed by K Madhu and written by SN Swami, has all the elements to satisfy a Sethurama Iyer fan, and thriller fans in general.

SN Swami deserves respect for coming up yet again with a script that keeps the viewers engaged till the end when Malayalam cinema is going deeper into the investigative thriller genre. Also, Mammootty for the fifth time, maintains the charm and calmness needed for the iconic character of Sethurama Iyer. A feat in itself.

CBI 5 begins through a flashback with Balagopal (Renji Panicker), a CBI officer narrating the story to a batch of IPS trainees about one of the most baffling cases where even the CBI was clueless at a point. The case starts with the death of a minister named Samad in a flight, which is followed by a series of murders — of people associated with the minister. That’s when Sethurama Iyer is assigned to investigate this high-profile case. There are many diversions, suspects, and subplots that naturally fit into the narrative starting from a terrorist link, to a personal grudge, corrupt police officers, extra marital affair and a criminal who uses cutting edge technology.

The most interesting part of the movie was the reference of assassinations that took place in the Gandhi family. Vikram, played by Jagathy Sreekumar, who was integral in the past CBI movies, was used with conviction, which proved to be another highlight of the feature. It was heartwarming to see Jagathy, the legendary actor of Malayalam cinema who is in a paralyzed state for years now after an unfortunate road accident, was used in the movie at a very crucial juncture with definite purpose.

Mammootty, as usual, was effortless as Sethurama Iyer. Some of his minimalistic expressions were enough to create impact in theaters. Sai Kumar also took off from where he had left in the third part of CBI, reminding one of late actor Sukumaran’s mannerisms. Renji Panicker couldn’t a create connection like Mukesh’s character Chacko or Jagathy’s Vikram. His character was, at best, peripheral. Jagathy, though, played his part like a dream. Director deserves praise for the way he used the iconic comedian.

There are some undefined links in the storyline, especially the missing personal staff of the murdered minister and the terrorist link mentioned in the first part. The latter part of the second half seems like too much information is being packed in a very short frame of time; a hurried, half-hearted attempt to tie the loose ends, which can leave the audience groping in the dark.

But, for diehard fans, we have some good news. Makers have already hinted at a sixth movie of the beloved franchise.

CBI 5 The Brain movie cast: Mammootty, Mukesh, Jagathy Sreekumar, Saikumar, Renji Panicker, Dileesh Pothan, Malavika Menon, Shoubin Shahir

CBI 5 The Brain movie director: K Madhu

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