Minnal Murali Review: A homegrown spectacle!
Cast: Tovino Thomas, Guru Somasundaram, Femina George, Baiju, Aju Varghese
Like every other film of Basil Joseph, Minnal Murali too feels like a movie straight out of a comic book.
The hype around the first indigenous superhero of Kerala was so profound. The good thing is that the film lives up to the hype, meeting all our expectations.
‘Superhero’ was a genre that India was still lagging behind. We have had a couple of superhero movies but none of that could connect with our taste and feel like a part of our surroundings. They mostly followed the templates of Hollywood superhero movies. There was also a constant comparison of these movies with the Hollywood ones which they could never meet. Minnal Murali emerges out strong and satisfying in the Hollywood comparison. I can proudly say that India has finally cracked the Superhero formula.
Jaison is an ordinary tailor from a small village called Kurukkanmoola who gets struck with lightning on a particular day giving him superpowers. But Jaison is not the only one who gets struck with lightning that day. Shibu, a local outcast maniac, also gets struck with the same lightning and attains the same superpowers as Jaison. But as you can expect, one uses it for good and the other for evil.
The development of the antagonist and the protagonist in Minnal Murali is one of the many reasons for the success of the film. The stories of both the men are shown parallelly to depict us that they are two sides of the same coin. They both lost their parents while young, are scorned by the women they love, and feel dejected in society. But the difference between the two lies in how they rise above the circumstances. While Jaison is inspired by the life of his dead father, Shibu is triggered at the very thought of his dead mother.
But more than the origin of the superhero, it is the origin of the supervillain that steals the show. Shibu is not born an evil person. The neglect and lack of affection he faced his whole life made him one. We don’t hate Shibu, we just empathize. The spectacular performance by Guru Somasundaram really helped in pulling this off. He shines right from the beginning. The detailing with which he portrays the character is brilliant.
Tovino Thomas is adorably charming as Jaison. His body language, comic timing, and screen presence are spot on.
The main agenda of the Minnal Murali, as Basil said in several interviews, was to not confine to the superhero cliches and add elements with which people of all age groups can relate to. The emotional elements added to serve this purpose stand out well. The placement of songs in these scenes helps to connect us with the situation accurately. These songs end up becoming the perfect background scores instead of songs with visual aesthetics as we usually see in movies.
Though Minnal Murali borrows several elements from the superhero checklist, it does not completely confide in it and defines its own set of superhero rules.
Visually stunning scenes make Minnal Murali so engrossing that I was left jaw-dropped and could not take my eyes off the screen. Sameer Thahir once again proves that he is one of the best cinematographers of Indian cinema.
Minnal Murali does everything right that the previous Indian superheroes did wrong. And with that, the film has truly created history.
Image Courtesy: YouTube