A novelist with writer’s block receives unexpected support in deliberately paced, literary-minded Indian meller “Signature.” Earnest tone, buoyed by a generally positive atmosphere, makes the pic a comfortable and edifying viewing experience without actually achieving much. A classic example of the type of small-scale, arthouse-style Indian pic dubbed locally as “parallel cinema,” this Malayalam item will please bookish festival auds.
Balachandran (Mammootty), a talented but temporarily unmotivated novelist, is brought to the attention of smalltime publisher Sivasdasan (Mukesh), who’s desperately seeking a quality bestseller to rescue his biz. To allow the writer’s genius to blossom, the altruistic Sivasdasan does everything he can to solve Balachandran’s romantic, residential and financial problems. Drama is low key, and ending downbeat, but yarn engages along the way. There’s also the intriguing idea that Sivasdasan may be the manifestation of a writer’s wishful thinking. Performances and helming are serviceable, but, like most films about a scribe’s daily grind, the pic never really springs to life. Technical package is smooth.