I hadn’t even heard about Jibu Jacob’s debut movie Vellimoonga until people started to talk about it one week after its release in 2014. Vellimoonga was a great example of how good content and good word of mouth could make up for lack of stars or big names in a movie. His second movie , Munthiri Vallikal Thalirkumbol though stars one of the biggest names in Malayalam industry who is also coming after an all time blockbuster and the expectations are obviously huge. The good news is that the movie lives up to the hype and Jibu Jacob has delivered another winner.
Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol is loosely based on V.J James’ short story Pranayopanishath. The story would have made up to only 20 minutes on screen which is why script writer Sindhuraj deserves great credit in weaving a fine screenplay around it, sprinkling enough humour and loading several heartfelt moments. The movie starts off in a monotonous manner in its first 20 minutes. But it makes sense when you realize that is to give us an idea of how the lives of Ulahannan (Mohanlal) and Annie (Meena) have been for several years.
The movie picks up when Ulahannan decides to start romancing to put an end to his boredom and there is not a dull moment in the movie from that point. Jibu Jacob has handled the mature romance with great delicacy. Any of the romantic scenes if stretched by few minutes or seconds would have looked awkward but he had them under perfect control. His another big achievement ofcourse is in how well he utilized his leading actor.
Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol offers a great platform for Mohanlal to revive the actor in himself and the actor welcomes the opportunity with both hands. How he takes a pen and writes Julie’s phone number without taking the eyes off her or how he peeps into Meena’s room asking her to come to his room is just vintage Mohanlal at his hilarious best. His expression when Suresh Krishna says he has to give money at 3-4 other places is gold. His scenes with his daughter towards the end of the movie is quite fresh. Mohanlal is an absolute delight in a role tailor made for him.
Meena is one actress with whom Mohanlal has shared the best chemistry in recent years and Jibu Jacob has his job half done when he cast them opposite each other here. The pair is once again adorable together. Anoop Menon is surprisingly very good and makes way for some great laughs. It is pleasing to see the actor stand tall and shine in all his scenes with Mohanlal. But one person who impressed me the most is the young Aima Rosmy Sebastian. The way her eyes glow each time she looks at her mom and dad perfectly conveyed the adoration she have for them. Her father-daughter scenes with Mohanlal would win you over as well.
The movie does still have few blemishes. The background score is decent but the songs looked plain average. The whole sub plot involving Panchayat President and issues at Mohanlal’s office with several characters like Suraj, Meghanathan, Sudheer Karamana could have been easily done away with .The 15 minutes saved thus would have made the movie look crisper and lot better.
In a scene from the movie, a father and mother asks Mohanlal ,don’t he have a daughter with the age of their girl who just got married .It leaves Mohanlal tensed on screen but the viewers in us extremely satisfied. This is a 56-year old superstar coming after a complete action movie and Industry’s biggest hit . Yet here he is back grounded, dropping all the superstardom and just playing his age like we all had once wished him to do. Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol brings freshness to the family genre in Malayalam. It conveys a good message to parents and children. It is also fitting that Mohanlal plays an important hand in it. The actor is having an absolutely rollicking phase in his career and Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol looks all set to be another milestone in it.
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