Minnal Murali, the recent Malayalam film, ticks (mostly) all the boxes when it comes to a superhero tale. A boy-next-door turning into a superhero, a moving backstory, ‘the guy in the chair’, rib-tickling moments, a wronged antagonist, and the ultimate grand showdown – it’s all there. The home-grown superhero tale probably served us all the elements, apart from the mind-blowing CGI effects Marvel boasts of.
Regardless, Basil Joseph’s ambitious project has been gaining well-deserved praises from all quarters. Despite a few cliché moments in the film, Minnal Murali has done a way better job than mainstream Bollywood films. Even with ample resources, the other weekend releases, Atrangi Re and 83, couldn’t match up to the desi superhero flick.
If we speak of plotlines, the Aanand L Rai directorial attempted to view a done-to-death love triangle story in an unfamiliar manner but it came to nothing. Dhanush’s earnest performance became the saving grace of the utterly problematic premise. Other than romanticising toxic love and insensitive approach towards mental health issues, the film did very little as new-age cinema.
On the other hand, Kabir Khan’s 83, which had a marvellous cast and outstanding premise at its disposal, didn’t live up to its potential. Despite being based on an event that changed the face of Indian cricket, the film failed to contribute anything more than what we already know.
When you weigh the regional superhero film, which has everyone talking, alongside films featuring megastars, it emerges as a true winner. Resorting to a rural milieu, the Tovino Thomas starrer explores the idea of two people struck by lightning and attaining the same superpowers, yet exercising them in contrast.
Jaison, the protagonist, a youngster with a devil-may-care attitude turns into a messiah when he sees that the people of Kurukkanmoola need him. Shibu, a not-so-hidden antagonist, emerges as a terrific villain who is almost impossible to hate. Although he has his heart in the right place, Shibu’s tortured soul accommodates the evil, as he sees no other way to get hold of what he desires.
As they say, great power brings great responsibilities with it, and one who fathoms the fact rises as a protector and the other gets consumed by it.
What doesn’t work for Minnal Murali is the visual effects which left a lot to be desired. However, considering the limited budget of the film to work on such a genre, one can draw a veil over that. Besides a few off-key moments, it will definitely help you get over misfires like Krrish, Ra.One and A Flying Jatt.
The lungi-clad superhero took leave with a promise to return and we are already yearning. Because with seamless screenplay and brilliant performances, Minnal Murali, a great ode to superhero films, was extremely entertaining. That is certainly more than what we can say after watching 83 and Atrangi Re.