Language : Malayalam
Director : Jude Anthany Joseph
Writers : Akhil P. Dharmajan, Jude Anthany Joseph
Cast : Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Kunchacko Boban, Aparna Balamurali, Tanvi Ram, Indrans, Kalaiyarasan, Lal, Narain.
Genre : Drama, Thriller.
Streaming in Theatres near you.
“When there is humanity, there is hope!”
“When we recall the catastrophic episode of five years back, incidents that truly showed who we are, the cinema hits you differently!”
I enjoyed watching Virus (2019) in theatres, and now another disaster-oriented film which has a much larger commercial appeal, ‘2018: Everyone is a Hero’ has become the first crowd-puller of 2023 Malayalam cinema.
Creating a movie about such a significant event on a grand scale is not an easy stunt. Rather than attempting to encompass the entirety of the Kerala story, Jude Anthany Joseph focuses on highlighting every instance of compassion, courage, and cataclysm that took place back then. Fortunately, this was skillfully and neatly executed.
‘2018’ doesn’t solely rely on its screenplay to engage the audience, as it depicts a core event that is still fresh in people’s minds. If I have to be meticulous in reviewing the film, the script felt flawed, and some dialogues seemed like they were straight from the social media of that time.
The initial half adequately sets up the storyline and employs a well-known format in which diverse individuals facing personal challenges come together for a common purpose. The film portrays how these characters, along with a pool of others, are affected by and respond to an unprecedented disaster, becoming victims, survivors, and fighters in the process.
While some of the character arcs, particularly those of Anoop (Tovino) and Nixon (Asif Ali), are entirely predictable, they still manage to be the high points of the film. Lal and Narain’s characters are vital to the movie, and they are given significant screen time. However, the angle involving Kalaiyarasan and Vineeth Sreenivasan could have been more nuanced, and Aparna Balamurali’s character is almost entirely overlooked in the second half. Despite all the artists delivering excellent performances, Lal, Narain, and Tovino stood out the most for me.
The film demonstrates a high degree of technical proficiency in parts of sound design, production design and visual effects that lends credibility to the devastating flood sequences. And because Jude Anthany Joseph flawlessly elevates the emotional intensity to a new level in the latter half through a continuous execution of impactful and touching sequences, you might overlook the writing flaws. The musical score plays a crucial role in creating a sense of suspense and evoking emotional responses from the audience, and it accomplishes its objective quite effectively.
The director succeeds in striking the right formula this time, despite the difficulty of creating a film based on an incident that resonates with everyone. We know how the story will unfold and end, but revisiting this goodness that humans are capable of, on the big screen does not feel cliche, it rather feels real because we have all been witnesses to similar incidents during the 2018 period. Jude successfully tuned the chords to touch people’s hearts. Coming from his former movies, he has taken an unprecedented turn that shifts his position way forward, strangulating the crisis of Malayalam cinema with his bare hands.
Manifestly, Jude makes everyone a hero by crowning himself as a superhero.
Emotional, Impactful, and Goosebumpy.
Experience it in theatres. No arguments whatsoever!
Verdict : 5/7 stars