Lucifer

What is the movie about? :: Kerala is ruled by IUF, and its leader and Chief Minister PK Ramdas (Sachin Khedekar) is a respected figure with a great fan following, not just among the people of his party, but also outside. It is his death which changes things in Kerala’s politics, all of a sudden. Mahesh Varma (Saikumar) who is next in charge finds this to be a golden opportunity to become the leader of the party as well as the Chief Minister of the state. Ramdas’ eldest daughter Priyadarshini (Manju Warrier) along with her daughter Jhanvi (Saniya Iyappan) is the first to come to the scene. Her second and current husband Bimal Nair a.k.a. Bobby (Vivek Oberoi) keeps close watch of the situation at the same time. Even though Priyadarshini and Jhanvi are not after political power, Bobby looks forward to it so that he can use it to spread his narcotics business to Kerala and earn a great amount of money.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Meanwhile, the only son of Ramdas, Jathin (Tovino Thomas) is living abroad. Bobby figures out that he is the one big chance that they have here, and by making him the new leader, could go through the drug business without anyone coming to know. He already has the support of Mahesh Varma and Priyadarshini regarding the same. He uses Jhanvi as a means to go through the family smoother. Govardhan (Indrajith Sukumaran) is one of those people who knows all these, as he had been searching for truth for a very long time – but he finds himself locked inside a mental asylum, thanks to Bobby. But before he is locked up, he finds the one other person who might be part of this power struggle – Stephen Nedumpally (Mohanlal), an orphan who was raised by Ramdas, a people’s favourite leader from the highrange constituency of Central Kerala.

And what else is to follow? :: Stephen Nedumpally is the kind of person none of the power seekers here want to have in the game, and the family also wants no part of him out there. The politicians on both sides, Mahesh Varma on one side and Medayil Rajan (Shivaji Guruvayoor) on the other wants him gone. Bobby is also hoping to make no mistakes, as he is playing a dangerous game involving Abdul (Suresh Chandra Menon) and Fyodor (Frank Free) who are masters of the game in Mumbai. He would have Stephen’s opposition out of the way as the party would be sponsored by the drug mafia. The people in the middle part of all these including Aloshy Joseph (Kalabhavan Shajohn) and Murugan (Baiju Santhosh) will have interesting roles to play as Kerala prepares for the big change. But the question remains about who would gain and loss the most in the battle between evil and evil.

The defence of Lucifer :: Unlike what was expected, Lucifer doesn’t jump into the shoes of a mass movie all of a sudden, and that is the clear advantage that this one has over Pulimurugan. Clearly a better movie having content of quality and rich in ideas, this one rises over the expected mass masala, and becomes more, but at the same time, it never hesitates to provide what the fans want. There is working on two levels, something which Odiyan could have focused on, to become a favourite. There are elements from politics nicely used too, and we get to go through a certain dirty side that attempts to take over politics every time, and may be even succeeds up to an extent. The action scenes are nicely done, and except for a very few, keeps itself in control to make us believe. The control that is maintained in the final scene with the song nicely contributing to it, is also worth mentioning. There is a higher level of making here, and the thrills are of great strength.

The claws of flaw :: The slow motion sequences, even though less in number, could have been avoided. There could have been more of Tovino Thomas on the screen too. Vivek Oberoi’s character could have been bigger terror, something that could pose a challenge that goes a long way ahead. The presence of predictable elements in between, should have been avoided. The references and allusions made in the movie also seems nice, but could have been better connected. There are quotes shown in the end including the one from Lucifer as the tragic figure of John Milton’s Paradise Lost who famously declares “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”; we also have “Hell Is Empty and All the Devils Are Here” from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest being shown on the screen in the end – is there something left for a sequel? One is left to wonder. The use of media could also been better shown. The movie is also too long.

The performers of the soul :: It is late to review a movie which has reached the 100 crore collection mark already, Pulimurugan, Drishyam, Oppam and this one leading the glory with the rest – almost everyone knows what Mohanlal has brought to this movie as the titular character, and needs no more talk about the same, as Stephen Nedumpally is grand. Meanwhile, the one person who steals the show with less amount of screen time is Tovino Thomas whose moments are nothing less than glorious. Manju Warrier has her fine emotional moments in here following Odiyan. Vivek Oberoi’s villain doesn’t maintain that terror that he seemed to possess in the beginning, but he is a fine choice for the role as we can see. Kalabhavan Shajohn, Saikumar, Baiju Santhosh, Shivaji Guruvayoor, Nandhu – all the characters play the roles of politicians with ease. Meanwhile, we see Shaun Romy of Kammatipaadam making an appearance after a long time. There is a long line of extended support here too.

How it finishes :: When someone like Prithviraj Sukumaran comes up with his directorial debut, you know that there is something special coming up. His previous movies as the leading actor had the Hollywood touch, whether it was the never before science fiction apocalyptic thriller called 9 or the diasporic crime drama set in a deteriorating, decaying city called Ranam – this one has the elements beyond the usual Malayalam movie, and as a flick written by Murali Gopy, we know that there is more. Lucifer is the kind of movie which combines its elements very well, and thus becomes a rare piece of a flick. It can be liked for more than one reason, and there is much to cherish for almost every kind of viewer. Well, this is Vishu and Easter is also on its way, and we have much to watch. For now, I wish all of you a Very Happy Vishu, and hope you enjoy the holidays well – but at the same time, be careful about the heat which is rising.

Release date: 28th March 2019
Running time: 174 minutes
Directed by: Prithviraj Sukumaran
Starring: Mohanlal, Tovino Thomas, Manju Warrier, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Indrajith Sukumaran, Saniya Iyappan, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Giju John, Saikumar, Baiju Santhosh, Fazil, Sachin Khedekar, Suresh Chandra Menon, Shivaji Guruvayoor, Nandhu, John Vijay, Aneesh G Menon, Kainakary Thankaraj, Bala, Adil Ibrahim, Shaun Romy, Adarsh, Helen, Frank Freem, Waluscha De Sousa, Sijoy Varghese, Thara Kalyan, Parvathi T, Binu Pappu, Parvathy Menon, Sreeya Remesh, Sshivada, Antony Perumbavoor, Shakti Kapoor

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Fan

fan

Vampire Owl: We are looking forward to our fans. I am going to call them my friends, brothers and potato chips.

Vampire Bat: No, we are not. Our policy is against having fans.

Vampire Owl: Oh! What about one special fan?

Vampire Bat: No, especially not one special fan.

Vampire Owl: But they are all poor, brainless zombie minions in my case.

Vampire Bat: It is the same problem with the fans. They are also mostly brainless.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I have seen them posting “bomblastic”, “elastic”, “fanta-stick”, “amaze-singh” and all for their favourite stars’ movies even before the flicks release.

Vampire Bat: You do see the problem, don’t you? And after the dumb movies release, they abuse people who say that a dumb movie is not good enough.

Vampire Owl: Yes, the lack of brains. Can they grow some? We can provide the nutrients.

Vampire Bat: We are still discovering a special magic for the same.

[Gets three cups of tea with tapioca chips].

What is the movie about? :: Gaurav Chadana (Shah Rukh Khan) is a big fan of the popular Bollywood superstar Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan in the second role). He has managed to keep a certain obsession with the superstar for such a long time, that he often forgets everything else in his life. His career or the people around him rarely becomes his priority in a life filled with strange obsession. Even though a lot younger, his face has some similarity with that of Aryan, and that helps him to win local competitions and talent shows talking, acting and dancing as Aryan. He has a crush on the girl in the neighbourhood, Neha (Shriya Pilgaonkar), but his big passion and admiration is for the superstar whom he had grown up watching. He has been thinking about the same only, and one day goes on a journey to Mumbai in order to meet Aryan in person.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Gaurav reaches Mumbai, and resides in the hotel room where Aryan had lived long ago before becoming a star, and begins his attempts to meet the superstar – but he just can’t get past the top-level security. As a younger rising superstar makes some rude remarks about Aryan, Gaurav gets into his place, posing as his fan, and beats him up – he also makes him apologize for talking against Aryan. But as the video is uploaded on the internet for the world to see, Aryan retaliates by getting him arrested. After getting beaten up by the police, Gaurav is only so happy to meet Aryan for the first time in his life. But Aryan scolds him, and tells the boy that it was he who got him arrested, and it is better for him to leave for Delhi. An angry Gaurav is not happy about it, and decides to retaliate – but how? And where will this angry revenge lead?

The defence of Fan :: This is the movie of Shah Rukh Khan as he single-handedly makes this movie successful, as he conveys the message against dumb fan worship perfectly. It is him versus him in two roles; Shah Rukh Khan against Shah Rukh Khan as both wins here – two grand performances here. Everyone else might be there, but the focus is always on him, and he plays these character with such honesty that one really feels the need to applaud now and then. He also makes us see that these fans make their own families and loved one suffer, and it is a major really relevant in this age. The whole thing is done nicely and quickly, with no drag. There are no silly songs to slow down things, and there is no dumb humour which had the chance to be here. So, this one becomes Shah Rukh Khan’s best performance in the last few years, and one of his smartest movies in the same period of time. Yes, Waluscha de Sousa and Shriya Pilgaonkar are good too, but this is a Shah Rukh show in full power.

Claws of flaw :: Even though one side of the movie feels so real, there are part of the movie that are overdone, especially with a simple boy from a common family with so less number of friends able to cause this much trouble to a very influential superstar – something which would be near impossible to do undetected in real life. Some sequences do make one wonder if this particular person has been doing the same for many years – maybe he has a habit of bothering people all the time, but sometimes, fans are really good at that, aren’t they? There was the need to keep this one completely within the realistic angle, and the failure to do so has also hurt here. This could have also been done as a thriller, with the superstar as well as us knowing what hit the man only later. To add that, the fans who usually watch a movie twenty five times might have not watched this movie either.

Soul exploration :: There is one major reason why this won’t be a major hit like the other movies of Shah Rukh Khan or even the rest of the big names – it is because this is the most honest attempt by any actor in Bollywood to make people understand the evil that exists in the form of fans. This is not brainless thing like Chennai Express or eternally overrated like Dear Zindagi; for the kind of audience that likes Dilwale and Happy New Year, this was not the case. People still want a million sequels to Dhoom and Krrish and its keeps being proven again and again. This is the only reason why this movie didn’t gross more than these other movies; the increasing need for people to grow brains is there. Without that, when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives, there will be nobody to eat these people – just think how sad that will be for the zombies; no you only think about yourselves. Brains and fans – too far away from each other, unless one day, there is no hate and abuse, but only the desire to do good in the name of the superstar.

[A few minutes after the movie].

Vampire Owl: There is another way, you know.

Vampire Bat: No, whatever you are thinking about, drop that idea right now.

Vampire Owl: We could be someone’s fan. Then we can do no job throughout our lives and tell everyone that we are fan club secretary of Transylvania wing.

Vampire Bat: Did you not understand anything from this movie?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I understood the easy way.

Vampire Bat: Who are you going to be a fan of?

Vampire Owl: What about Uncle Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Dude, his existence is Z-level secret. That creepy old dude Van Helsing will come back from the dead if he knows that Uncle Dracula is alive and has a fan-base.

Vampire Owl: I wouldn’t want that. He smells bad.

Vampire Bat: So, keep it a “no fan” area. Keep every fan away.

[Gets on the Vampire Bat Mobile and travels to the tree-top].

Release date: 15th April 2016
Running time: 138 minutes
Directed by: Maneesh Sharma
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha de Sousa, Sayani Gupta, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Deepika Amin, Yogendra Tiku

fan

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.