Dealing with the story of an IPS officer who specializes in the form of vigilante justice and works his way through the failed structures of the Indian justice system, “Christopher” (2023) is a Malayalam action thriller that armors up to go on the offensive against ‘delayed justice.’ This B. The Unnikrishnan-directed film stars the Malayalam megastar Mammootty alongside the ensemble cast of Aishwarya Lekshmi, Suhasini Rajaram Naidu (Sneha), Vinay Rai, Amala Paul, R. Sarathkumar, Aditi Ravi, and Shine Tom Chacko.
The plot revolves around the life and commitments of Christopher Antony, played by Mammootty, who is an Additional Director General of Police in charge of a special task force designed to combat crimes against women. Although a cop, Christopher is driven by childhood trauma and an amplified sense of justice, and he takes matters into his own hands when it comes to violent criminals who hurt women. He is motivated by the act of quick and efficient justice, even if it means breaking a few rules or purposefully arranging to kill a group of rapists in an encounter to avoid the labyrinths of government and judicial bureaucracy. The film is a telling commentary on the adventures of an officer of the law, adjudged an ‘encounter specialist,’ who disregards all political and familial pressures to uphold what he thinks is the true spirit of the law, although it has received mixed reviews from audiences owing to the gory details of sexual assault portrayed on screen and the lack of properly devised interactions between some of the characters. The script was conceived by Uday Krishna, and the film marks the second collaboration between Mammootty and director B. Unnikrishnan after “Pramani” (2010).
Mammootty As ADGP Christopher Antony
IPS officer Christopher Antony is the principal character of the film, whose turbulent actions drive the narrative of the plot. Hailed and revered among the masses as a “savior, he deals in a sort of justice that opts for the swiftness of a bullet over a long-drawn trial process. He is introduced in full swagger with a traditional action-hero attitude and the persona of a seasoned veteran of the law as he is shown entering the Ernakulam General Hospital to visit a victim of sexual assault. He taps the unconscious victim’s shoulder three times, a recurring motif in the film, as a sign of assurance. After having killed the five suspects involved in the crime in an encounter, he falls under investigation for his unconventional methods, and it is during this investigation that the audience is intimated about his past. Various other incidents are dug up where we find that Christopher had resorted to the same form of vigilantism, all to ensure that justice was suitably served.
Muhammad Kutty Panaparambil Ismail, or Mammootty, as he is popularly known, is a South Indian actor who is regarded as a Malayalam megastar, although he has starred in various other Hindi, English, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu films. Having had a prolific career in the show business, he has over four hundred film roles under his belt. He won the National Film Award in the year 2000 for his role in “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” (2000), a bilingual biopic. Some of his other prolific performances can be found in films like “Ahimsa” (1981), for which he was awarded the Kerala State Film Award; “Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu” (1983); “Pranchiyettan & the Saint” (2010), a Malayalam satirical comedy; “Varsham” (2014); and “Bheeshma Parvam” (2022), an action-thriller.
Aishwarya Lekshmi As Advocate Amina
Aishwarya Lekshmi plays the character of advocate Amina, daughter of sub-inspector Ismail, who lost his life in a covert operation led by Christopher. She was adopted by Christopher after her father’s demise. She becomes a motivated advocate and a social rights activist to help the voiceless but is tragically killed after a gruesome attack on her life, and this fuels Christopher’s need for retribution even more, as he loses the one person who was with him through thick and thin, a daughter. Aishwarya Lekshmi is an Indian actress and model known chiefly for her roles in Malayalam and Tamil productions and her illustrious modeling career. Some of her most notable works are “Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela” (2017), a family drama; “Vijay Superum Pournamiyum” (2019); a romantic comedy; “Brother’s Day” (2019); and “Action” (2019).
Sneha As Beena Mariam Chacko
Beena Mariam Chacko, played by Suhasini Rajaram Naidu, popularly known as Sneha, is the ex-wife of ADGP Christopher Antony. Her brother, Sebastian, is a man convicted of killing three young girls, and Christopher publicly shoots him, resulting in Beena divorcing Christopher. Sneha is a well-known Indian television and film actress who has starred in various Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu films. Some of her films are “Pirivom Santhippom” (2008), “Achchamundu! Achchamundu!” (2009), “Haridas” (2013), and “Velaikkaran” (2017).
Vinay Rai As Sitaram Trimurthi
Vinay Rai is an established Tamil actor who plays the role of the main antagonist of the film, Sitaram Trimurthi. Trimurthi is a sadist who will stop at nothing to gain control of the people around him, manipulating people and paying off police officers and government officials to look the other way. He tries to derail the investigation against Christopher to ensure he can never return to the force. He is the chief orchestrator of the murder of Amina, as she tried to help his wife, Aswini Trimurthi (played by Aditi Ravi), file for divorce. Vinay Rai is chiefly known for his roles in films like “Unnale Unnale” (2007), “Dam 999” (2011), “Doctor” (2021), “Thupparivaalan” (2017), and “Etharkkum Thunindhavan” (2022).
Amala Paul As IPS Sulekha
Sulekha, played by Amala Paul, is an IPS officer who is given the task of investigating Christopher as she presides over the investigative committee. She is essential to the plot as she is responsible for unraveling the history of Christopher and is finally instrumental in his acquittal. Amala Paul is chiefly known for her roles in “Neelathamara” (2009), “Mynaa” (2010), “Run Baby Run” (2012), and “Raatchasan” (2018).