Director Dileesh Pothan has hit the box-office jackpot with his debut film Maheshinte Prathikaram
Maheshinte Prathikaram is a quintessential Malayalam film. That is saying a lot in today's times when films from Kerala suffer a severe identity crisis. And it is a film to be watched unlike most that you can hear through, take naps or do coffee runs and yet not miss an iota of the narrative.
A box-office comeback for Fahadh Faasil (no one has challenged his acting chops, anyway), MP takes its strength from a captivating script by Shyam Pushkaran and sheer directorial brilliance by Dileesh Pothan. Every frame shows the minute detailing, which gives MP its real heart. Charming you with wits, underlining humour and with characters who behave without any cinematic hangover, it gives Malayalam film what it was sorely lacking: Its soul.
This is a revenge saga, alright. But there are no smoking guns or violence. The angst is internal and while the act of revenge itself might be physical, it comes with a heartening romance as a back-story. So it is that Mahesh (Fahadh), a small-town photographer, flooring you with his 'photographer pep talk,' decides not to wear flip-flops until he has avenged Jimson (Sujith Shankar), after he unwittingly found himself in the middle of a street argument.
Mahesh's own life goes through a transformation in the interim. The girl he loved (Anusree) decides to take the safe route of marriage, and Mahesh has Baby (Alancier Lay) and Chrispin (Soubin Shahir) for company. And then Jinsy (Aparna) comes into his life. The girl, though, is Jimson's sister. If you have framed an impression of what the movie will be going by this storyline, get ready to be surprised. Because it isn't the story; it is the characterisation and situations that take the film to a new high.
Performances are top-notch in MP. From Fahadh to Soubin to Alancier and Aparna, each outshines the other in their 'natural-ness' quotient. Brilliantly shot by Shyju Khalid and with hearty music by Bijibal, Maheshinte Prathikaram is Malayalam cinema at its finest in recent times. Watch it to enjoy the marvel of story-telling and how simplicity makes all the difference.
Directed by Dileesh Pothan
Starring: Fahadh Faasil, Aparna, Anusree
Now playing at theatres in the UAE