NOTE: Spoilers ahead
What will you do if something that is supposed to kill you gives you superpowers? What will you do in a world that has always ostracized you? Will you choose to be a hero, a villain, or an anti-hero?
Minnal Murali, directed by Basil Joseph, introduces Jaison (Tovino Thomas) aka Minnal Murali, who is a young tailor recovering from heartbreak nursing the ambition to escape from his village - that has ostracized him - and wishing to build a future in America; and Shibu (Guru Somasundaram), a lovelorn man who now has the opportunity to get together with the woman he has been pining after for almost 28 years.
This film revolves around two people under almost similar circumstances, but the fine line between good and evil plays a major role in their lives. After being struck by lightning, Jaison gets enhanced agility and reflexes with telekinetic abilities, as does Shibu. On their way to discovering their powers, Jaison with the help of his over-enthusiastic nephew learns his abilities and how to control them. Set in a village in the late 90s, the movie has portrayed the people and the dialogues in a way that even a person born after the '90s can see what a village in the 90s was like. The charters and the scenes, although being a superhero fictional genre, are real and natural.
There is one instance in the film in which the village doctor treats the hero after the lightning accident. The scene is emphatically realistic. The doctor is asleep while the hero is brought in and the moment he hears the news he wakes up and runs to his patient with the stethoscope. While at the same time the hero’s sister runs into the hospital with a ladle in her hand that denoted that she was cooking and did not think of anything else after she heard about the accident.
Tovino Thomas (Jaison aka Minnal Murali) has brought in the much-needed innocence that is needed to his character, and the way his character develops in the movie is presented naturally by him. The antihero, Guru Somasundaram (Shibu) has portrayed his character exceptionally well in a way that it is hated and also sympathized at the same time. It is just two ordinary men exploring the new powers that they have gained.
Although the movie has a few brutal over-the-top scenes, it is a family entertainer. It makes an attempt to be a superhero movie within the budgetary confines of Malayalam cinema, rooted in realistic, down-to-earth storylines. Director Basil Joseph excels in his storytelling by giving the audience a bunch of logical, authentic characters and emotional sequences that are easy to relate to and empathize with. The film is a perfect blend of humour, action, emotion, relationships, romance, and empathy.
Film: Minnal Murali
Steaming Partner: Netflix
Director: Basil Joseph
Actors: Tovino Thomas, Guru Somasundaram, Vasisht Umesh, Femina George, and others
Languages: Malayalam[original], Tamil, Telugu, Hindi [has English Subtitles]