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Tuesday, 28 December 2021

8 Things That You Must Know About Indian Super Hero Minnal Murali

8 Things That You Must Know About Minnal Murali

The Tovino Effect -  Destined to play a Superhero, Tovino doesn’t disappoint in and as Minnal Murali. During Kerala’s calamitous floods in 2018, the actor was deeply involved in on-ground relief efforts for the affected. So, he had already established a messianic presence among the average Malayali that made them susceptible to his charm. The charm and naivete he channeled into Jaison made his character believable and relatable, a rarity in the superhero genre in general, where the writing usually confines the hero in a tall-glass-of-brood. It’s a refreshing and grounded take on an oft-cliched role.

Minnal Murali

India’s Naadan Superhero - As a Malayali, it might seem biased, but Minnal Murali is definitely one of the best films from the superhero genre to come out of India. By limiting the story to the colorful town of ‘Kurukkanmoola’, the film is able to take us on a magical journey, where the familiar naadan sights and sounds are interspersed with moments of superpower-induced chaos. 

Terrific Villain - One of the notes given by Director Basil Joseph to Guru Somasundaram to help him get into character was to watch Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in 2019’s ‘Joker’, which is a tough task in itself. But the Aranya Kaandam actor’s inspired performance as Minnal Murali’s antagonist Shibu is nothing short of outstanding. The film doesn’t bother you by trying to conceal the true identity of the villain, rather it takes us through Shibu’s journey with an untainted perspective, which enables the audience to empathize with him despite his eventual downfall. 

Great Casting - Femina George as Bruce Lee Biji, the martial arts instructor cum travel agent, and Arya Salim as Jaison’s sister manage to hold their own in every frame they’re in, as does Vashisht Umesh playing Josemon, the Scrappy Doo to his Maaman (Maternal Uncle). The child actor’s doe-eyed innocence blended with genuine wonder makes his character a memorable one. 

Seasoned Storytelling - Minnal Murali is only Basil Joseph’s third rodeo as a Director, but consider him an amateur at your own peril. The former engineer is a naturally adept storyteller, which the film obviously benefits from. Overall the film does a great job of keeping you engrossed, without insulting you with unnecessary frills. 

Daasan and Jaison -  Dasan was supposed to be a father figure to Jaison at some point in his life, but the impact of the former’s death felt a little hollow and nothing more than a plot device. The weight behind Jaison’s, “I was unable to ask Daasan for forgiveness” narrative could have landed better.

Final Costume - The movie gave Jaison multiple avatars before unveiling his final red & blue spandex. However, it felt jarring and disjointed in a film that had so far done an excellent job of giving a naadan take of a superhero story based in the fictional town of ‘Kurukkanmoola’. In fact, I preferred his lungi and rag-mask look, to the final costume. Hopefully, with Minnal Murali 2, the filmmakers can try to iron out this minor glitch.

Background Score - It’s nitpicking at this point, but fans had waited excitedly to listen to the background music featured in this trailer, however, it was nowhere to be found once Minnal Murali was eventually released. It’s a damn shame considering Sushin Shyam had composed one heck of an earworm. 

Minnal Murali is streaming on Netflix. Do watch the film and let us know what you thought, in the comments below!

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