In a Keralite village of Kurukkanmoola, two men with unfortunate pasts Jaison (Tovino Thomas) and Shibu (Guru Somasundaram) are struck by lightning that gives them supernatural powers and abilities. And both of them use their powers for predictable reasons.
Minnal Murali is a Malayalam-language superhero film that has recently been added to Netflix. I read a lot about this film and a few glimpses of this film made me think to give it a try. After all, it is a ‘superhero’ film. And it is not like if I had to expect some promises from this genre tried in India.
The first thing we need to understand as an audience is that the action-packed Indian cinema has still not been able to distinguish a mainstream action film and a superhero film at all. Because the concept of heroism and saving a girl or protecting the motherland in the Indian cinema has been a norm for decades. So it becomes harder for the audience to convince that their superhero plot or execution methods are different from what they have been watching. What will be the methods to separate these films from the usual action films? Of course, costumes and supernatural powers/abilities. The latter has also been existing for some time now.
Minnal Murali is no special superhero project but hype. The only interesting factor about the film is that the Malayalis came up with the idea to present their product in a new packing which is to make an action hero in a costume, supernatural belief with flavors of romance and family ties, the latter which has been the strongest element in the Malayali cinema.
One aspect about the writing I really liked was that the creation of two supernatural individuals was made accidental and they were put to use/test how they execute their powers. Especially, Shibu the antagonist who is fundamentally not an antagonist but a sadist who went through sorrow and pain, and wanted to use his powers for good but suffered setbacks that resulted in damaging his balance and creating problems for the villagers.
The film is extremely lengthy not because of the songs but the needless elements of Jaison’s characterization. The director wasted too much time on the portions that had the least connection with the plot.
Yes, Minnal Murali is enjoyable with its traditional mainstream Malayali productional aesthetics. The middle part of Jaison’s discovery of his tragic childhood was covered well. Cinematography is first-rate. Action scenes are favorably louder but of course, cannot be expected to match with the usual superhero films the global audience watches these days.
Looking at the kind of entertainment the makers have provided in this film, Minnal Murali is surely getting a sequel. And if that happens, the writing team will have to outdo this film with better creativity.