Jude Anthany’s 2018 – A Stirring Story of Survival With Some Clichés

“2018 – Everyone is a Hero”, directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, is a testament to the power of human resilience in the face of a calamity. This gripping drama, based on the Kerala floods of 2018, showcases a whole community coming together to overcome adversity, proving that heroes exist in every corner of society.

2018 Malayalam Movie Title Card

The Emotional Journey Through the Floods

Jude Anthany Joseph’s direction and Chaman Chakko’s editing strike the right balance between portraying the harsh realities of the situation and the uplifting moments of heroism and unity. The film is elevated by its technical excellence, especially in the flood scenes, which are both visually impressive and emotionally stirring.

The film’s script and story, crafted by Jude Anthany Joseph, are undoubtedly the backbone of 2018 – Everyone is a Hero. The narrative weaves together numerous characters, each with their own unique arc, capturing the essence of a community uniting in the face of catastrophe. The film’s strength lies in its ability to showcase the ordinary lives of people, their petty quarrels, and their extraordinary transformation when faced with adversity.

As the story unfolds, we witness an emotional rollercoaster that peaks during the intense rescue operations and heart-wrenching moments of loss.

2018 – Everyone is a Hero: A Gripping Story with Room for Improvement

However, I must point out a few areas where the script could use some improvement. The first 40 minutes of the film is laden with clichés and predictable sequences, reminiscent of old Tamil movies brimming with “Paasam” and “Pride.” Asif Ali’s love track and Tovino’s side track at the beginning feel like they’re filled with immature writing and clichés.

A more balanced and realistic portrayal of characters in the initial phase would have added greater depth to the story. At this stage, it’s all too easy to predict the upcoming events in the second-half. The film’s scripting and characters brings to mind Major Ravi scripts. I truly hope that, one day, Mollywood will get a survival thriller without much clichéd melodrama.

Secondly, the pacing of the film could have been more consistent. Although the first half sets up the characters in a very slow-steady pace and the film experiences a few dips in the second half. Some scenes feel stretched, while others are rushed, which affects the overall flow of the narrative. Tightening the script in these areas could have improved the film’s pacing and made for a more immersive experience. Lastly, the film could have delved deeper into the political and social aspects surrounding the disaster. Instead, it primarily focuses on human spirit and heroism, albeit with a few clichéd characters and events. Additionally, more thorough research could have enabled the scriptwriters to explore the underlying issues and challenges faced during the crisis more effectively, adding depth and relevance to the story, rather than resorting to clichéd melodrama.

An Exhibition of Remarkable Performances

One of the major highlights of 2018 – Everyone is a Hero lies in the powerhouse performances of its stellar cast. The movie boasts of an ensemble of talented actors, including Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas, Naren, Kalaiyarasan, Vineeth Srinivasan, Aparna Balamurali, and Lal. Each of them has left an indelible mark on the screen, bringing forth the raw emotion, resilience, and courage of their characters.


Kunchacko Boban, with his nuanced portrayal of an everyday hero, perfectly encapsulates the essence of an ordinary family man and a responsible government official during calamities. Asif Ali’s performance as a reluctant volunteer provides a sense of relatability, displaying the evolution of an individual in the face of adversity. Tovino Thomas delivers a gripping performance, capturing the pain, loss, and determination of a man fighting against all odds to save his people. I would say, you can see a more humanised version of Minnal Murali in 2018.

Naren, Kalaiyarasan, and Vineeth Srinivasan play pivotal roles in the narrative, showcasing the diversity of human emotions and responses to the disaster. Their acting prowess breathes life into the story, ensuring that every character contributes to the overall impact of the film.

However, it does fall short in its representation of female characters, who are often shown as helpless and in need of rescue, despite the fact that many women played crucial roles in the recovery efforts. Aparna Balamurali’s character treis to balance it but her character doesn’t have much depth to the narrative, making it just another helpless female character.

2018: A Watchable Tribute to the Unsung Heroes

In conclusion, 2018 – Everyone is a Hero is a compelling story that showcases the best of human resilience and unity, but it could have been elevated further with a few improvements in the script and pacing. Nevertheless, the film remains an engaging and moving experience that will surely resonate with audiences.

“2018 Everyone is a Hero” serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there are heroes among us, ready to lend a helping hand.

Similarly, this movie demonstrates that with great content and quality production, there’s no need for promotional gimmicks. The theatre was packed for the second show.

Read more reviews here.

Adi – A Thriller Exploring Male Vulnerability

Prashobh Vijayan’s Adi takes on the central theme of toxic masculinity and its associated vulnerabilities, with a thrilling plot revolving around road rage in Kerala.

I must say, Prashobh Vijayan’s movies never excited me, which is why I opted for Madanolsavam over Adi. However, when a few people from the theater gave positive responses for Adi, I decided to give it a try. And, let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised! Adi is the best movie from Prashobh, Ahana Krishna, and Ratheesh Ravi so far.

Adi promotional poster

A Thin Plot with “I am Man!!” Pride

Adi revolves around Sajeev, an NRI played by Shine Tom Chacko, and his wife Geethika played by Ahaana Krishna. Their adversary, Joby Joseph, played by Dhruv, oozes with masculine pride. Sajeevan gets badly beaten by Joby Joseph, and it bothers him that it happened in front of his wife, Geethika.

The film effectively highlights the issue of toxic masculinity, with the characters repeating the line “I am a man!” before and after every act of violence. Eventually, the movie shows how Ahaana’s Geetika is challenging this “I am Man!!” pride.

Road Rage, Masculinity & Vulnerabilities

The movie addresses the alarming issue of road rage in Kerala, which is something that we should prioritize. Road rage and revenge have been the central theme of many movies like Hollywood’s “Unhinged” and Mollywood’s “Kali,” and Adi follows suit but with a less intensity compared to “Kali” or “Unhinged”.

Shine Tom Chacko & Dhruva from Adi

Still, As the movie progresses, it turns its colors and Adi tries to explores the congeniality between relationships.

The movie initially gives the notion that it’s all about toxic masculinity, much like Ratheesh Ravi’s previous work, Ishq. Some viewers may have misunderstood as Adi as a male chauvinistic movie. However, in my opinion, the film aims to address the issue of toxic masculinity and its associated vulnerabilities.

Adi’s Cast Brings Depth and Intensity to Their Characters

Ahaana Krishna from Adi

All three main actors, Shine Tom Chacko, Ahaana Krishna, and Dhruvan, excelled in their roles. It was surprising to see Ahaana and Shine’s on-screen chemistry. Normally, the contrast between young actors and experienced actors like Shine Tom Chacko is visible, but Ahaana was able to pull off her character with ease. Dhruvan made a great attempt but there were instances where I felt he could have done it in a more sublr manner instead of exaggerations.

Athira Patel’s character may have been short, but it effectively points a finger at toxic relationships and the male ego.

Adi’s music is one of its strongest assets, thanks to Govind Vasantha, who composed music for the 96 movie. The music adds an emotional layer to the film’s many scenes, elevating the overall viewing experience.

Adi: A Conclusion without a cliched “Adi”

Overall, Adi has a great start, subtly addressing its core theme. However, when it reaches to the end, I felt like the climax of the film a bit forced and unconvincing. If the filmmakers could work on it a bit more, the movie could have impressed more viewers this festival season. I feel like, Adi is a movie best suited for youngsters, not for everyone.

With standout performances from Shine, Ahaana & Dhruvan, superb music, and a thrilling theme, Adi is a one-time watchable for anyone interested in exploring the issues of toxic masculinity and vulnerability.

Here you can read about the second release of the week, Madanolsavam.

A Modern Version of Raghunath Paleri Classics: Madanolsavam

Ratheesh Pothuval’s Signature Style

Ratheesh Pothuval’s movies always remind me of the old Raghunath Paleri classics.

When Malayalam film industry was filled with slap-stick comedy tracks, Raghunath Paleri scripts transport us to a different world, filled with dark comedy, subtle political satire, and a touch of Deadpan comedy with quirky characters like Pashune Kalanja Paapi, Meesha Vasu, Krishna Kurup, Doctor Vadhu…

Ratheesh Pothuval movies are no different as they are a modern version of those Raghunath Paleri classic films.

Madanolsavam title card

An Unexpected Turn of Events & A Political Game Changer

This title can be the one-liner of this movie.

The story revolves around Madanan, a young man who sells coloured chickens for a living. One day, a girl unexpectedly enters his life, creating the most hilarious (dark humor) event in the movie, even though it’s unrelated to the film’s central theme.

Madanan Manjakkaran, a BDF candidate played by Babu Antony, is about to win an election for the first time in Manjeswaram. However, the opposition party, led by “Porali,” decides to use Madanan as an imposter candidate against Manjakkaran to scatter the vote share. The rest of the story follows how Madanan’s life changes after this event.

Entertaining, But Lacking Freshness

Madanolsavam is a complete family entertainer that has enough elements to keep you entertained.

However, somewhere in the movie, I felt like the freshness of Ratheesh Pothuval’s previous scripting was missing, maybe because of the overused template of Kasargod slang, stereotypical character comedies, and subtle burlesque moments. I believe Ratheesh Pothuval needs to reinvent his writing to avoid losing the punch he had in his earlier works.

Tried and Tested Formula

Ratheesh uses the same eccentric political shades that succeeded in “Enna than case kodu.”

I love the way he builds the first act of the movie. Be it “Enna thaan Case Kodu” “Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham” even “Madanolsavam” he uses a “staright to the point” style. Within just 10-15 minutes, he will settle everything in place and make the protagonist ready for the confrontation.

From his aunt’s weak bowel movements to his marriage, it all happens within a few minutes in Mdanan’s life. With hilarious punchlines from characters like Mohanan (Sumesh Chandran) and Madanan’s aunt, it’s an entertaining gateway to the world of Madanolsavam.

Madanolsavam Poster

Subtle Performances

Suraj Venjaramoodu fully steals the show with his full-fledged comedy role in Madanotsavam. However, there are some moments where he becomes too emotional, adding some material for the family audiences into this political satire. Madanolsavam employs Suraj’s ability to oscillate between comedy (his slapstick style) and serious (but not bordering on melodrama) elements.

Sumesh Chandran’s character, Mohanan, was a laughing riot in the film, and I am sure that he will be viral soon after Madanolsavam’s OTT release.

Rajesh Madhavan’s Namboothiri goon, Chandrika Madikkayi’s aunt role, Rakesh Ushar’s corporate strategist, Babu Antony’s Madanan, and PP Kunhikrishnan’s Chindilayappan are all characters that ensure Madanolsavam is a wholesome entertainer. 

Bhama Arun’s Alice deserves a special mention because even though it was her debut in Mollywood, she truly nailed it. Her chemistry with Suraj was well-portrayed, with awkward pauses, romantic smiles, and emotional eyes. I expect to see her in more movies soon (Hopefully without being stereotyped).

Bhama Arun’s Interview (Credits: The Cue Studio)

Missing a Signature: Sudheesh Gopinath

Though it was directed by Sudessh Gopinath, Madanolsavam has all Ratheesh Pothuval’s trademark humour and deadpan set-up throughout. 

Casting, Narration, Opening, Ending, in simple words it’s Ratheesh pothuval everywhere. Eevn he did an extended cameo role as well.

Overall, I felt if Sudhessh could manage to add some unique elements we could have felt the freshness from a debutant director.

On the other hand, it’s possible that Sudheesh Gopinath’s influence was present in Ratheesh Pothuval’s previous works, as he served as the chief associate director for all of those films.

Final Verdict

Madanotsavam is a solid family entertainer packed with witty one-liners. However, it falls short as a political satire, especially during the rushed climax. Climax was too fast and disrupts the convincing-natural flow of the film.

So, Madanolsavam is a dark-comedy enteratiner which failed to leave a lasting impact.

Corona Papers: Priyadarshan’s Gripping Crime Thriller Inspired from Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog

Corona Papers is an engaging thriller directed by Priyadarshan.This will be a different Priyadarshan movie for you, since the film is devoid of slap-stick humor or romantic songs.

Corona papers maintaining a thrilling atmosphere from start to finish. In this movie, Priyadarshan demonstrates his return to form as a master craftsman, presenting captivating visuals that keep the audience hooked.

Poster: Corona Papers

Priyadarshan’s crime thriller, Corona Papers, starts with an acknowledgment that the filmmaker was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog. This 1949 detective film revolves around a stolen gun and delves into the social and economic conditions in Japan after World War II.

And this acknowledgement is true I feel, the movie is not actually a remake of 8 Thottakal rather it’s an adaptation of Stary Dog.

The Riveting Plot

The story follows Rahul, a newbie Sub-Inspector in the Kerala police force, who is assigned shadow duty at his first station. Tragically, he loses his service revolver, and the bullets from it are later used in a bank robbery.

As the investigation unfolds, the audience is drawn into the core of the story, with the tension continuing to escalate.

Priyadarshan’s approach in Corona Papers is straightforward and focussed, unlike his previous thriller, Oppam. He eliminates all the unnecessary melodrama and humor, ensuring a laser focus on the script.

Engaging Performances and Visual Beauty

Corona Papers’ first half offers a unique, thrilling experience with the freshness in casting and the fast paced events.

In the second half, although the plot points are predictable, the focus lies on how they connect and drive the characters towards the central event. This intriguing aspect keeps the audience engaged.

Secondly, the film remains engaging due to the skillful execution by the actors and Priyadarshan’s enhancement of the visual beauty and dramatic elements.

For example, there is a memorable scene where characters are exchanging money on a rainy night, adding an intriguing layer to the thriller.

The supporting cast, including Shane Nigam, Shine Tom Chacko, Gayathrie, P P Kunhikrishnan, Henna Reji, and Siddique Lal Jr., all deliver commendable performances.

Corona Papers

Siddique Steals the Show

Siddique stands out as suspended police officer Sankararaman, delivering an exceptional performance that showcases his talent. He effortlessly handles emotionally intense scenes, adding depth to the film.

A philosophical scene unfolds between Shane Nigam and Siddique, and it’s hard to picture any other actor delivering it so effortlessly. And here are few elements around Siddique’s character and it added some philosophical layers to this thriller.

For exmple, a scene where Siddique uses Alexander Pope’s famous quote “to forgive is divine” that voice modulation is an icing on the cake for that scene.

Some Weak Points

While Shine Tom’s character is not insignificant, certain aspects of his role feel disconnected at times.

Shane Nigam excels in emotional scenes alongside Siddique. However, Sandhya Shetty struggles to match their ease. Her acting and dubbing fall short, particularly when sharing the screen with the experienced Siddique, creating a noticeable contrast in their performances.

Sandhya Shetty as Gracy (Corona Papers)

Additionally, her character Gracy could have been written better. It’s not that convincing and there is a lack of depth. It reminds me old Vani Vishwanath era of Mollywood thrillers.

An Anticipated Climax with a Twist

Priyadarshan tried to make this different from typical crime thrillers, the climax of Corona Papers is not a twist but an awaited resolution of the interlocked puzzle.

The film pulls this off decently, but for those expecting a twist, there is one included. However, it feels forced and unnecessary for an otherwise solid thriller.

  1. Experience a sleek thriller with minimal drama,
  2. outstanding acting by Siddique, and
  3. Priyan’s masterful visuals.

These three key elements make Corona Papers a must-watch film for thriller enthusiasts.

In conclusion, Corona Papers is a decent crime thriller with a few flaws, but it will undoubtedly keep audiences captivated throughout its runtime.

Purusha Pretham: A Noirish Crime-Comedy with Layers

Anyone familiar with Krishand’s Aavasayooham or other flicks can easily predict what’s waiting for them. Don’t be fooled by his titles; his film titles are not direct.

Purusha Pretham Poster
Purusha Pretham poster

He always chooses a heavy subject and will deliver it in a fun and thrilling way.  Krishand, I believe, is a fan of superimposing dichotomies, such as war and peace or love and hate.This is his way of leaving his imprint on his works. Purusha Pretham is no different.

Purusha Pretham is a noirish crime comedy that is stuffed with numerous layers of Indian politics and social evils that still prevail including discriminations, domestic violence, exploitations and bureaucratic red-tapism.

When it comes to the plot, Krishand always crafts a central character, with confidence being an essential factor. SI Sebastian, aka Super Sebastian, is renowned for his bravery and is feared by many in Purusha Pretham.Sebastian’s reputation is tested when a lady named Susan comes to his station and wants to check whether an unidentified body is her husband’s or not.

Sebastian’s Macho-chauvinism and some Rashomon effects(another pattern in Krishand’s movies) are what make the first half of the movie. In the second half you will witness the fragility of the same macho elements and the shades of femme fatale.

Some of the frames in PP remind me of Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam and Pudhupettai, and those cinematic frameworks reflect Krishand’s outside the box making. Here everything is connected, be it an Orange juice, a bottle, a Rose flower, an underwritten character, everything serves a purpose and that elevates the experience of the viewer.

Darshana stated in a recent interview, “Usually, you have a master shot and then you go for a person’s close-up or over-the-shoulder shots and you are familiar with all of that.”But in Purusha Pretham, it wasn’t.” This is pretty evident in the film. All the characters are at the margins of the frame leaving a space besides (no spoiler 🙂 )

There are no stars (except Darshana), dramatic stunts, or slapstick comedy in the film. But director Krishand incorporated all the tiny elements that will entertain every category of viewers. There are parts of the film where silence would have been appropriate, but he still included some haunting background music and songs by Ajmal Hasbullah.There are some raps that replicate the contemporary style of mallu trends that will elevate the mood of the film, and that’s the beauty of this dark noir crime comedy.

I truly admire Krishand’s research for this film and the way he incorporated some cliches in Malayalam films when it comes to police officers (maybe he was mocking). In his previous film, there is a scene where the character Vava suddenly gets a lot of fish; similar cliched elements to excite the common man can be found in Purusha Pretham as well. Especially, in the climax event of ‘Super’ Sebastian.

Purusha pretham Climax scene
A scene from Purusha Pretham credits: SonyLIv

Krishand and writer Ajith Haridas deserve praise for their nuanced portrayal of police characters in the movie. Instead of painting them all with a khaki shade, Krishand added separate character sketches for each police officer, which made them stand out from one another. Furthermore, the way he humanizes the police force is another entertaining factor in the movie. Sanju Shivram, Jeo Baby, Rahul Rajagopal, and Zhinz Shan all bring a smile to your face with their delightful performances.

Alexander Prashanth and veteran actor Jagadeesh were the two people who stole the show. The way Prashanth delivered ‘The Shades of Sebastian’ was impeccable. At some point, I felt like this character was written specifically for him. Jagadeesh’s portrayal of Dileep was an extension of his character from ‘Rorschach’.

In one word, this is a movie for every set of audience. This is an ideal material for a post-Friday film (a film that will be popular upon its release). I hope next time Krishand will deliver a Friday film since this is going to be the talk of the town soon.

Rekha: Jithin Issac, Vincy Aloshious & Minimalism

Jithin Issac Thomas’ new malayalam film Rekha is about Rekha and Arjun, Arjun sneaks into Rekha’s house one night to spend time with her, but the next day, he is missing. The film explores how that one night changes everything for Rekha. Are you intrigued yet?

Lyz Lenz quote related to the theme of Malayalam Movie Rekha
Image credits: instagram/I_Filmiholic

In the beginning if you think you are getting a feel-good film, think again, It’s a Jithin Issac Film. He makes us uneasy from the very start of the film.

I love the way Jithin scripted its confrontation act. A casual question about a pet dog asked during a sweet moment between the couple and a casual answer turns everything upside down. It is an intelligently written scene.

The star of the film is undoubtedly Vincy Aloshious, who portrays the titular tomboyish woman perfectly. It’s truly one of her best performances yet.

The visual and sound design of the movie is immersive, despite the minimalist approach. The director of photography, Abraham Joseph, who previously worked on “Kumari,” does an excellent job of creating an atmosphere filled with grit and menace.

As with Jithin’s other films, “Rekha” delves into politics. The movie sheds light on how people are labelled based on their origin(Character: Savitha Teacher or even Rekha), and the way Jithin incorporates Dalit politics into his movies is fascinating.

Remember if you compare this with a revenge drama like the Kill Bill/ 22 FK space I would say it’s a half-baked attempt because of the several pointless extended scenes of violence.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an engaging movie with a captivating storyline, “Rekha” is a great choice. Don’t miss out on this must-watch film that showcases the talents of Jithin Issac Thomas and Vincy Aloshious in its most minimalistic appraoch.