Minnal Murali is a refreshingly original superhero movie that finally proves Indian cinema can get it right in this genre. The movie released today on Netflix.
Does Minnal Murali take inspiration from the superhero movies of Hollywood or Bollywood? The answer is a definitive no to the former and thankfully no to the latter. At two hours and thirty-eight minutes long, this is an original story that keeps you rooted right to the end for how relatable the lives of each of the characters are.
Minnal Murali on Netflix review
Is it an edge-of-the-seat, action-packed, VFX-loaded, destroy-half-a-city in its wake kind of superhero film? Not at all, though there was the unfortunate incident of right-wing activists destroying a church set of the movie.
Minnal Murali is the story of how a bolt of lightning changes the lives of Jaison (Tovino Thomas) and Shibu (Guru Somasundaram). In a village, set in a time unknown (there are rotary, not mobile phones), Jaison and Shibu are dealt an unfair hand in life. The unfairness of their situation is something every one of us has felt at some point in life.
Their lives – of fake branded T-shirts, being the village idiot, wearing the mantle of the black sheep of the family, harbouring dreams of a better life – are all things we can relate to. Their pain, happiness and quirkiness are just like you and I have experienced in our hometowns. And then, a stroke of luck (in the form of lightning) gives them superpowers that they use in very different ways.
Kerala delivers the superhero we deserve in Minnal Murali on Netflix
Straight up you have the creation of a superhero and his nemesis, lungis and gunny sacks making do for capes and face masks. The storylines of Jaison and Shibu are separate until they come together and face off. This changing of tracks needs a doff of the hat to writers Arun Anirudhan and Justin Mathew. Not once do you feel you are watching a fantasy movie in the making – what you are watching is an everyday story of love, hate, anger, hope and despair with a superhero touch to depict the triumph of good over evil.
Director Basil Joseph has created an original superhero movie with Minnal Murali and its sets the bar high for any Indian superhero film to follow (if the current IMDb rating is what you go by). Some great music, not of the run-around-trees variety by Sushin Shyam of Kumbalangi Nights, Kurup, Malik, Kappela fame adds to the experience of this movie. If you haven’t heard The Down Troddence, a thrash metal band Sushin is a part of, you absolutely must.
Tovino Thomas has all the trappings of a superhero – the good looks, the ability to go from puppy-dog lover boy to man-who-saves-the-village in a heartbeat and does a great job. But the one who needs a standing ovation – coming in close to Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker, though refreshingly original – is Guru Somasundaram as Shibu. Also, do not miss the strong women in the movie who are unafraid of making unconventional choices.
Watch Minnal Murali with the family – it is one you are going to enjoy and are going to hope turns into a multi-movie franchise.
All images: Courtesy Netflix