Language : Malayalam
Director : Mahesh Naryanan.
Writers : Mahesh Naryanan
Cast : Fahadh Faasil, Joju George, Vinay Forrt, Nimisha Sajayan, Dileesh Pothan
Genre : Action | Biography | Drama
Streaming on Amazon Prime.
“I have quit all ungodly work, so who should I fear now?
If someone above Him is waiting to kill me, let it happen.”
“He won’t be able to do it, Sir.
No one from Ramadapalli can do it “
After the success of Take Off and C U Soon, Mahesh-Fahad Combo have come up with their third shot Malik, a multi-layered political drama weaved around on a vast canvas with fantastic performances and character arcs.
Malik also follows the same trajectory of Gangster narratives on screen before. The underdog hero’s rise into the world of grey, eventually becoming Malik (chief) to the people, swirling in a karma game, living in a skin of frailties and a final downfall. Malik is akin to films upfront showing us how the system kind of shapes heroes and villains for their political agendas. Although Malik holds its own space, which reflects the politics that needs to be told extensively.
The opening shot is a 12-minute single take, which yields a heavy start that empowers the central character Ahammadali Sulaiman aka Alikka (Fahadh Faasil) and outlining his various tints and relationships with his people before the tale takes wing.
At a runtime of 161 minutes, there are moments when the film looks stretched and lags a bit where I checked the playtime one or two times. The film sets felt artificial at certain noticeable points. Malik could have been a complicated mess, but Mahesh expertly handles the screenplay without vexing the audience into many convolutions
The writer assuredly has rendered elements from the Beemapally riot and police shootings, which happened in Kerala in 2009, although the film does not claim to be a real-life narrative. Being a fictional interpretation, sticking to the resentful incident and building his universe around it was creative craftwork. From numerous incidents to a pool of characters, the task in front of the filmmakers in terms of maintaining the interest of the viewer for such a lengthy movie is a substantial challenge. But this was effectively handled to a great extent. Malik finds its roots and strengthens each character by protracted flashbacks and subplots which interests the audience to unravel the layered story.
Fahadh Faasil is a sheer glow in the central role, from minor to major roles each and every artist delivers prime performances that are capable of grabbing and holding your attention. The script takes specific care in characterisation and gives separate identities to the characters. This in turn makes the same story driven from their perspectives.
Sanu John Varughese’s camera swims over the blue Sea, circles through the streets and lanes of Ramadapally, blotting the grey hues of each character. Also, There are furthermore lengthy single takes that often create intriguing moments. Sushin Shyam’s music was lit as usual. As Director-writer-editor Mahesh Narayanan has sheer confidence and clarity in his filmmaking, technically they have done a fabulous job. Malik is an excellent addition to his filmography.
Flowing in a non-linear period drama extending from the 1960s to 2018, the film looks hard at the hands of the police, political kingpins and capitalists who wait to fish in muddy water. The movie comprehensively addresses the minorities and how the system instigates the people to pick on each other and makes their way to fill pockets. Time flies, but the system holds the cards and the puppets on the strings remain the same.
When the end credits of some films roll up, they truly make us miss the big screen. Malik is one of them.
Ahammadali Sulaiman isn’t the only hero. The movie itself is.
Verdict – 5/7 stars
Malik’s creators originally shot the movie to be released in theaters and had its release date revised several times but finally it was decided to release Malik on Amazon prime.