Are you a Malayali fan who has watched The Avengers movies or even Baahubali and wondered with a sigh, "When will such a movie come out in Malayalam?..." Even as you wondered, you probably knew that it was an impossibility because it would call for world-class animation technology and action expertise with a humongous budget which a small regional movie industry can ill afford.
Well, for the first time in Malayalam, a truly tiger-hearted producer called Tomichan Mulakuppadam has taken up that very challenge. He shared the dream of director Vysakh and together they have brought forth:
Yep, we had heard the hype. Yep, we heard that there was not much of a story. But that didn't stop us from going to two theaters last weekend to book tickets, only to find they are unavailable. Next we tried online and luckily got four seats for a second show in a town 20 kilometers away.
And was it worth it all? Yes, yes, YES! I don't know if it was the realistic setting as compared to The Avengers or Baahubali that are clearly fantasies, the action was really thrilling. While DH and Kunju sat coolly at either end of our row, Ani and I had clasped hands during the action scenes and we literally jumped off the seats during the twists and turns! And I don't know how many times DH and I were moved enough to clap like crazy Mohanlal fans.
When I saw Lalettan in action, I was reminded of a scene in Thattathin Marayathu, in which Nivin asks indignantly, "Keralathile anpillerkku enthinada six pack? (Why do Keralan boys need six packs)" Right, no six pack required at all to be an action hero, as Lalettan has proved with this one film. I cannot begin to imagine the effort he has put in to film the action scenes of the movie. He makes it look so effortless! Whether he was fighting dangerous beasts or even more dangerous humans, we were cheering for him all the way.
The sylvan setting of Murugan's home is almost magical and very enticing on the big screen. The sheer menace the tiger brings is terrifying in the absolute stillness. The audience collectively held their breaths whenever the protagonists grew still trying to guess where the tiger was coming from. It was absolutely mesmerizing to say the least.
As for the rest. Story: nothing new. Humor: of the basest kind. Main villain: has a funny name and overacts. Heroine: perpetually frowns and lip syncs horribly. But they don't detract from the movie at all. Mohanlal, Lal, the real and virtual tigers and action choreographer Peter Hein take all the credit for riveting us to our seats. Cameos by Master Ajas as the young Murugan, Santhosh as his father and Romin (younger son of the producer, looks exactly like cricketer Ravindra Jadeja) as young Murugan's uncle are worth mentioning. Vinu Mohan, Bala, Nandu, Nobin, Suraj Venjarammoodu, Gopakumar, all handle their roles very well.
Verdict: A must-see on the big screen!!! Book your tickets now. But I have a hunch Puli Murugan will be hunting for quite some time!