Minnal Murali Rating: 4/5
Touted to be a film that could be a game-changer for the industry is the much-awaited Basil Joseph directorial Minnal Murali. The film introduces the viewers to the first-ever commercial superhero from the Malayalam film industry. The film is written by Arun Anirudhan and Justin Mathew. It stars Tovino Thomas as Minnal Murali, along with Guru Somasundaram, Aju Varghese, Baiju Santosh, Vasisht, P Balachandran, Mamukoya, Femina George, Sneha Babu and others.
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Premise of Minnal Murali
Set in a fictitious village of Kurukkanmula, Minnal Murali introduces us to Jaison, a tailor. He is a fashionable young man who wishes to move to the USA. However, one day he gets struck by lightning and starts to notice some changes in himself. With the help of his nephew Josemon (Vasisht), Jaison realises that he has acquired superpowers. Soon, the village is threatened by Shibu (Guru Somasundaram), who has also acquired supernatural powers. Who is Shibu? Why is he a threat to the village? Will the threat posed by him be neutralised? How does Minnal Murali become the village’s saviour? All of this is shown in the remaining part of the film.
Minnal Murali has a top-notch script written by Arun Anirudhan and Justin Mathew. The development of a superhero story is no easy feat because of the inevitable comparisons that would be made with its Hollywood counterparts. However, clever writing from both the writers has helped in creating a desi superhero origin story, that connects with people from all generations.
The perfect mix of humour, drama, emotions, as well as thrill, makes Minnal Murali a brilliant film. The writers have efficiently drawn the perfect backstories for each prominent character, justifying their emotional reactions. The depth in character development is praiseworthy. It is very rare that we sympathise with the antagonist, however in this film, you would do it, thanks to the superb writing. Minnal Murali definitely has a solid script and storyline that doesn’t lose its intensity and flow.
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The Basil Joseph Direction
Basil Joseph is a filmmaker who has proved time and again that he strives to offer something new and exciting to viewers. Through Minnal Murali, he has set the benchmark for a superhero film in Kerala. He has shown us how effective making, along with a solid script, can result in the production of a film and character that will be remembered for the years to come.
Basil’s clear cut vision and determination to bring to screen what he has visualised is absolutely phenomenal. He does not try to make the film extravagant or flashy. He keeps it simple and adds the necessary flavours to make the characters highly relatable. Minnal Murali is definitely a big milestone in the Malayalam film industry.
The Minnal Murali technical team has done their best to make the film a memorable experience. The cinematography by Sameer Thahir is breathtakingly beautiful. The way he captures several sequences, especially the high-intensity combat sequences towards the end of the film, is superb.
Editing by Livingston Mathew gives the film a great pace and keeps everything tight. Music by Shaan Rahman and Sushin Shyam is just awesome. The original background score composed by Sushin Shyam is mesmerising and sets the mood for each scene. His brilliant compositions elevate the scenes and strike a chord with the viewers, especially in the climax and ending.
Action direction by Vlad Rimburg is superb and looked highly believable for a film that has main characters with superpowers. VFX, costume design, set and art department as well as the colour grading of the film too have been excellent.
Minnal Murali is headlined by Tovino Thomas. This film is probably the biggest film of his career and he delivers a stellar performance as Jaison. The innocence in his portrayal and the rough side he displays while fighting the evil forces as Minnal Murali is excellent and worthy of praise. He also deserves a lot of credit for the efforts he took to become the character.
Guru Somasundaram as Shibu is the show stealer in this film. He is simply outstanding with his role. The way he expresses emotions and the manner in which he carries the character throughout the film is beautiful to watch. He makes the viewers confused about whether to sympathise with him or hate him, all thanks to his outstanding performance.
Another brilliant performance in the film has to be of Aju Varghese. We have seen him kill it each time as a comical relief, but in this film, as a grey shaded character, probably the first time he plays something like this after Helen, he was marvellous. Baiju Santosh, Vasisht, Femina George, Sneha Babu, P Balachandran, Harisree Ashokan, Rajesh Madhavan, Mamukoya, Jude Anthany Joseph and the other supporting cast members have done a great job as well.
Should You Watch Minnal Murali?
As a whole, Minnal Murali is one of those few films which manages to live up to the hype and buzz created around it prior to its release. The superb storyline, brilliant and witty script, excellent execution, outstanding acting performances, well-designed action sequences, top-notch technical work and the overall feel created by the film makes it a highly enjoyable and memorable watch.
The film has all the elements of a thorough entertainer and the only thing missing was the teaser BGM composed by Shaan Rahman. It could have elevated the superhero intro scenes to a whole new level, because of the wide popularity the tune received upon the release of the teaser.
It is one of those films which has the capability to change the face of Malayalam cinema and with the introduction of this new superhero into the superhero fraternity, we all can proudly say that we have a competitor for the Marvel and DC heroes.
The most exciting factor of the film, as the director Basil Joseph said in an interview, is that even if the superhero element is removed from the film, it is a rooted and grounded story that would serve to be a brilliant film. With the manner in which the film ends, there are possibilities of Minnal Murali having several sequels and maybe a whole new universe joining him to fight the evil forces that come their way. This one is surely worth your time so do not wait any longer and tune in to Netflix to watch the superhero from Kerala take the centre stage!