With just days to go for a mega blockbuster of a weekend that will see as many as 11 releases(Yes, you read that right!) and that too starting tomorrow, I had one day in hand and I decided to put it to use by watching and reviewing the 2016 Malayalam film Maheshinte Pratikaram starring the powerhouse Fahadh Faasil. A film that has garnered a lot of accolades for its simple premise and layered storytelling, its review finally makes it to PopcornReviewss. So then for people who may have watched it, this might be a nostalgic ride and for newbies this review will help you to decide whether to watch it or not. So lets go!
Story & Screenplay
Maheshinte Pratikaram follows the story of a small time photographer in a town who gets into a scuffle with a local. After being beaten up, he vows for revenge in a tale of self realisation. Now while reading the premise if you get a feeling that this is an intense drama then you are completely wrong. This is in its heart a light hearted drama with a dash of dark humour. And herein lies the genius of Malayalam films that I have been harping on! It is a simple premise which might not even seem too novel. But the layered storytelling and well fleshed out characters is what drives the film throughout. The screenplay moves at a leisurely place almost to allow the users to get used to the pace of life in the town which is shown. There is considerable amount of buildup as you are introduced to many characters and the world around them. The main event that occurs actually seems like any other event in the film. So there are only undercurrents that follow after this. The second half was supposed to focus on the revenge but again the brilliance of the screenplay shows up. So our protagonist has a life too and his sole goal is not just to take revenge as is often miscontrued in a few other films. The romantic track is really sweet here and the connection made to the main plot is beautiful culminating into a climax that is pretty good. The screenplay almost unfolds like a slice of life kind of act which was really refreshing to watch. A superbly penned screenplay this, just so subtle, nuanced and layered!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are excellent with some funny one-liners that will make you chuckle. The music is just so hummable and blends beautifully with the drama. The cinematography is excellent, as is the case with almost all Malayalam films. Director Dileesh Pothan in one of his earlier works as a director has done a swell job here. His storytelling is quite unique that focuses on other aspects of the drama too other than the main plot which was refreshing to watch in Joji too as it is here.
The performances are excellent here. Anusree as Soumya impresses in a cameo. Lijo Mol Jose aa Soniya is quite good. I was really impressed with Soubin Shahir who is just so affable as Crispin. He is a bundle of talent himself and does full justice to his role. Aparna Balamurali as Jimsy is cute and does an excellent job. But it is the powerhouse who owns the film throughout. Fahadh Faasil as Mahesh is every bit of the character. He is so subtle in his nuances and just so natural that it is hard to actually point out on any flaws in his armoury. This is yet another acting masterclass by the finest actor doing the rounds currently in India.
Maheshinte Pratikaram is a film celebrating the powerhouse Fahadh Faasil. Available on Amazon Prime(Channel Mubi) and Highly Recommended.