Mikhael Review: a Haneef Adeni thriller with no Mammootty factor
Haneef Adeni has a set of props he uses to create movies. Mikhael was a test to know whether he has a variety to offer in terms of stories and in my opinion this was Adeni’s way of saying I will tell you the same story with different characters. The punch lines and background music does create moments in the movie Mikhael, but the unsurprising package was a big letdown for this Nivin Pauly starrer.
Michael is a young doctor in a private hospital. He is living alone as he has a strained relationship with his mother as she opted for a second marriage after the death of Michael’s father. But he is very close to his sister. The movie Mikhael shows us how Michael rises to the occasion when his family happened to face a threat.
Haneef Adeni as a writer has established one style of his own which is a debatable one if you look at the quality. I personally wasn’t a huge fan of his earlier creations, The Great Father and Abrahaminte Santhathikal. In my opinion, Mikhael is inferior to both those movies as it severely lacks one major thing, which is grace. Cluttered layers are not blending smoothly and the list of villains makes the movie an unending hunt without much fuss. Michael is projected as this dual persona whose bad side is least visible, but there wasn’t any surprise in the treatment to keep it as a revelation.
The movie depended too much on Nivin Pauly in terms of carrying the character’s grace and I think the actor just couldn’t carry it. He was struggling physically to be fit for all those fight sequences and when it comes to portraying the hefty emotions, he was struggling there as well. Siddique looked menacing as George Peter. Unni Mukundan is physically really fit to even be Mikhael. But his acting chops aren’t really on demand here. JD Chakravarthy is there in his usual lazy style. The small girl who was Jenny in the movie was good. Manjima Mohan may have shot for two days for the movie. It was nice to see Suraj getting a character with good space. Shanthi Krishna, Sudev Nair, Jayaprakash, KPAC Lalitha, Babu Antony, Kalabhavan Shajon etc are also there in the star cast.
Thematically the movie feels like an extension of Adeni’s other films. Alpha male who is this protector of someone with whom he shares blood relation is again Haneef’s hero. A police investigation that hesitantly glorifies the hero is there. And the hero has a flashback which reveals why one shouldn’t mess with him. Packaging all these used out ideas along with a few punch lines, Haneef Adeni tries to make it look compelling. But the clumsiness of the packaging really minimizes the fun. Mahesh Narayanan is struggling to make the footage look exciting as a narrative. The cinematography is also on the usual side. The BGM at times sounded a bit funny.
Mikhael in a way shows the audience how much the on-screen charm of Mammootty helped the scripts of Haneef Adeni in achieving the mass appeal. Nivin Pauly just doesn’t have that x-factor in him to make Mikhael a compelling thriller.
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