Lucifer review - a technically brilliant thriller
From promos to the interviews given prior to the release of the film, Lucifer has managed to create a buzz. Looking at the end product, I would say it has sort of justified what it had promised. It is an over the top action flick in the backdrop of contemporary politics. The formula here is pretty simple and we have seen that in movies like Usthad and Thanthonni. But here the scale is bigger and the scripting is a bit more complicated making it a recipe for an updated version of a familiar formula.
Stephen Nedumpally and veteran politician Ramdas share a father-son-like bond. Ramdas passes away at one point and the political scenario changes. The question of who will succeed Ramdas was making the news. Bobby, Ramdas’ son-in-law decides to make use of the window for drug trading in Kerala, an idea Ramdas rejected. So the ideological war begins between Bobby and Stephen over the topic of drugs and how that proceeds to something bigger is what Lucifer talking about.
Scene construction and dialogue construction of Murali Gopy films are really peculiar. He has that unique way of using metaphors and saying a complex story. Here the story isn’t that complex. But he invests time on character molding and that gives this movie a depth and the 173 minutes of runtime doesn’t seem like an excruciating one. There are major characters in the film that doesn’t even have 15 minutes of screen time. But the writing effectively manages to make them memorable characters. The length of the climax portion and the extent of the cameo done by Prithviraj is the major minus of this otherwise mass film. The sophistication is justifiable as we are shown the real capacity of Stephen in the end. But the item number track, through which it reaches that point, was a bit underwhelming.
Lucifer isn’t a movie that will explore Mohanlal as an actor to the fullest. It demands more of the swagger that the star in him manages to pull off effectively. The screen grace he shows in that initial fight sequence is infectious. There are minor looks and stares by Stephen Nedumpally that can give you an idea about his power and Mohanlal was spot on with all that. Through the impressive dubbing of Vineeth, Vivek Oberoi as Bobby was that tough and adamant villain Bobby. Manju Warrier gets extremely dramatic scenes and she has performed all of it without any excessive theatricality. Tovino Thomas as the smart Jathin was a good choice. Indrajith gets a good performance oriented character that got uneven screen space. Shajon and Saikumar were also pretty good in their respective roles.
The hold over the technical aspects of film making is perhaps the best thing about Prithviraj Sukumaran’s filmmaking. You get the feeling of seeing a movie made by someone who knows what he wants to show on screen. He only fumbles when things go to a zone that is completely under the director and not the writer. The previously mentioned climax portion is too long. Mohanlal is justifiably glorified as this monster like figure but that is too much at certain areas making it a bit tiring for those who aren’t necessarily ardent fans of his swagger. This time the political backdrop of the Congress party is Murali Gopy’s tool to create captivating characters and he mixes it up smartly to include instances similar to real life, at the same time keeping the movie in a fantasy zone. Stephen remains in the grey zone and once we truly realize who Stephen is, the glorification we saw till that point will make sense. Sujith Vassudev behind the camera has done an exceptional job. Deepak Dev’s background score is effective. Samjith Mohammed has sliced the sequences impressively.
Lucifer definitely has pretentious elements in its concept. But why this movie will still work for you is because of the conviction with which the makers have addressed the subject. When they say Stephen is this big, you will buy it and the major reason for that is the actor who plays Stephen Nedumpally.
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