Star Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Rajisha Vijayan, Indrans, Jaya Kurup & Ensembles.
Director: Sajimon Prabhakar.
What’s Good: Fahadh Faasil talks with his eyes, and the makers realise the abundance of talent that there is in the frame so they shape the surrounding with a subtle tone.
What’s Bad: The sudden redemption given too soon.
Loo Break: How will you even dare to ask this question to an always angry Fahadh Faasil?
Watch or Not?: Please watch for the sake of good cinema and the right approach.
Language: Malayalam (with subtitles).
Available on: Amazon Prime Video.
Runtime: 113 Minutes.
Anil Kumar is a man who has seen hard days in his life and now stays with his mother and repairs electronic items for a living. The neighbour with whom the mother shares a loving bond delivers a baby one day and the crying baby starts bothering Anil until the day the roof crashes and everything gets buried metaphorically and literally.
Malayankunju Movie Movie Review: Script Analysis
Mahesh Narayanan seems to be one of the few people who have completely understood Fahadh Faasil’s superpower. He knows what the man in frame is capable of and how he needs no massive setup physically and ideologically to create an intriguing world. The writer finds a soft spot subtly and builds his story leaving a whole lot of space for Faasil to spread his magic. And guess what? That is the best thing to do in this case.
Malayankunju on the face of it is a story about a happy go lucky many turned into a heartless arrogant machine due to the sufferings of life. The sufferings in his case aren’t economic at all, because he is the one employing the village, but mental and personal. So the visual language of the film is not in the sets or how the world around looks more, but in the eyes of the man who is suffering the wrath laid on him. But he is no ideal man, but a manchild who is casteist, hateful and borderline bully. He says things like “jobs achieved by reservation are of no value”, or blames his sister for his father’s death because she eloped with a man from the lower caste.
The complexities of Malayankunju keep getting multiplied with every scene till the midpoint and the rest of the movie is spent in exploring those. Narayanan unravels his story layer by layer and not multiple at a time. He takes his own pace but also wraps it up in a crisp runtime. A talent, I must say. It is a very haunting thought and a valid one which asks everyone inherently protecting their cast about the dooms day, and where will they run when the sky falls. Will they not save or get saved by someone from the caste they shunned in the normal world?
While the world after the landslide and the isolation of it all works partly, it is amazing. Narayanan and director Sajimon has populated the film so well in the first half that the isolation of the second hits you hard. A man is finding a route out of a mud pile and also his life.
The only complaint is the placement of a dream sequence and the early occurrence of redemption. The casteist man is made to realise the fact that a calamity doesn’t hit you considering your cast and he runs towards his redemption, which is the baby that he looked at with anger at first. But that happens quickly and the next 20-30 minutes are only a survival drama.
Malayankunju Movie Movie Review: Star Performance
Fahadh Faasil at this point can do no wrong. He is acing the content-driven films, massy entertainers and even the one where the drama is at level 10. No one can put him in a bracket and the man only proves that more with each performance. Playing an instantly unlikeable character, he acts with his eyes. He is amazing in the first half, but the magic begins in the second. For 40 minutes or so there are no dialogues, on acting that too is a very closed frame in a surrounding where he can’t even use his entire body. Witness it yourself.
The cast is filled with actors who are brilliant for the lack of a better adjective. Be it the amazing Indrans, the natural Jaya Kurupa and everyone else only make things better to best.
Malayankunju Movie Movie Review: Direction, Music
Sajimon doesn’t try to shape his story towards a calamity. He rather makes it look mundane and monotonous until the world collapses and that creates the maximum impact because like the characters even you weren’t expecting it. Add to it Mahesh taking up the DOP job for the first time. It is a tricky film to chose as his first, but he does an amazing job in setting it up visually. When under the debris of the landslide there is no idea what the way out is. Like Nail on screen, even we as audience are clueless and that claustrophobic nature is captured so well.
AR Rahman’s music is great and you don’t expect him to be bad ever (I refuse to have memories of Heropanti 2. But he wasn’t bad there, just average). But his music sometimes goes over the subtle nature of the film. The scenes look underplayed and the music tries to overshadow.
Malayankunju Movie Movie Review: The Last Word
Fahadh Faasil is turning out to be a force to reckon. The actor in no time has given some of the most worthy gems to us and this one only adds another golden feather in his already decorated hat.
Malayankunju releases on 11 August, 2022.
Share with us your experience of watching Malayankunju.
Need some more recommendations? Read our Vikram Movie Review here.