Minnal Murali REVIEW: Tovino Thomas as the majestic homegrown superhero deserves all the applause

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Director: Basil Joseph

Cast: Tovino Thomas, Guru Somasundaram, Vasisht Umesh, Aju Varghese, Femina George, Harisree Ashokan, Mammukoya

Bollywood Bubble Rating: 4 stars

Minnal Murali Review, Minnal Murali,

As a child, Jaison (Tovino Thomas) heard his father speak passionately about his play Minnal Murali, a superhero, the saviour of those in distress. Never did he thought, he would end up being Minnal Murali many years later. Basil Joseph’s Minnal Murali is an interesting film that dabbles with superpowers, the good and the evil featuring Tovino opposite the strong and note-worthy antagonist Selvan (Guru Somasundaram). Set in a village in Kerala, Basil Joseph’s superhero film is both realistic and a spectacle you don’t want to miss. The film, despite its length, leaves you with a giant smile on the face.

What seemed like a normal day in a village in Kerala turned to be extraordinary after two men discovered supernatural powers after they were hit by a bolt of lightning. What follows later is a series of trials where the two test the limits to their powers, unable to process the change within. In fact, one of the most hilarious things that Jaison does to check his powers is to hit a mango tree with a stone. He is startled by the powers. Its funny but also tells you why he is the good boy in general, who has perhaps lost his track in middle. On the other hand, Selvan has a rather cocky reaction after discovering his powers. What makes Minnal Murali more than a kids’ film is the complexity laced with intrigue. Both Selvan and Jaison have an interesting backstory to them which is unravelled layer by layer.

Basil Joseph’s vision is clear. Superpowers are not good or evil, it is what you chose to do with it that defines you. While Jaison decides to turn saviour and save people, Selvan turns destroyer.

While this is not the first time we are watching a superhero film in India. We, of course, have our Krish (Hrithik Roshan) and then Ra.One (Shah Rukh Khan), but Minnal Murali stands out for many reasons. First, while dabbling with superpowers, it for once doesn’t lose sight that the story is based in a real setting with a real people and issues. For example, when Jaison’s nephew makes a subtle comparison of his superpowers to that of Superman, the fact that the former was absolutely oblivious to his existence made the scenes somehow seem real and funny at the same time.

There are many such moments when the makers make some funny references to Superman and how Jaison wants to go to America to use his superpowers. “But who will save us then,” his nephew then innocently asks. Well, that’s when Minnal Murali is born.

The pace slowly builds up brick by brick only to reach a jaw-dropping climax. When Selvan completely loses every last bit of his humanity, wanting to destroy the world completely, only Jaison can save the burning village, and he does. Not mere with his superpowers but also the power of goodness. A lost child finally finds his way back, and how!

The climax is every bit nail-biting and exciting with all of us unitedly rooting for our homegrown superhero. There is cinematic brilliance that we witness throughout the two hours and 38 minutes.

Tovino Thomas’ nuanced act makes Jaison both charming and interesting. He adds a bit of innocence to Jaison which really makes him endearing as a character. On the other hand, Guru is the perfect arc-rival Minnal could have asked for. His sinister act deserves a mention for being able to pull it off so convincingly.

Minnal Murali is the first of the many films in the franchise as he rises to action in the final act. Watch and enjoy our homegrown superhero in action this Christmas with some plum cake and wine!

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