Up & Down - Mukalil Oralundu Malayalam Movie Review
Thampuran (Indrajith), the elevator operator at a posh apartment, runs into trouble when the lift on its way to the 24th floor of the building gets stuck midway with eight passengers in it. That one of the passengers is the City Commissioner of Police (Ganesh Kumar) adds to his woes.
As the lift comes to a smashing halt, one of the passengers, Cherian (Nandu), a Malayali who had been long away in the US, turns claustrophobic. The two couples inside - Christy (Nandu), a wealthy builder and his dancer wife Prasanna (Remya Nambeesan), and a techie (Rejith Menon) and his flirtatious wife Mithra (Sruthi Menon) - develop differences of opinion and literally come to blows.
A well renowned writer Edathil (Prathap Pothan) takes it lightly, and settles down to have a gulp of his favorite drink in a corner of the elevator. Shanku (Devaraman), a small boy keeps prodding Thamupran as to where his mother (Meghna Raj) has disappeared after having entrusted him with the lift operator the previous night.
Gradually, the film concerns itself with the mysterious lady who had disappeared into the night, as each of the characters are pulled in and out of her story, as recounted by Thampuran. And when a murder is found to have been committed, the shadow of suspicion falls on each of those trapped inside the elevator.
The basic premise very loosely reminds you of the Hollywood thriller Elevator (2012), but the similarities end there. The individual story lines that the script explores henceforth are drastically different, and the resemblances little.
The twists and the turns in the script are surprisingly engaging and there is barely a moment in 'Up and Down', where you feel detached. Well, that is if you let go of those antics by the lift mechanic (Kochu Preman) that do go a bit overboard after a while.
One also wonders why no one ever suggests to the Commissioner that the suspects could perhaps roam around outside the elevator as well. In an apartment building as huge as this, how is it that the lady of mystery got to interact precisely with those who got caught together in an elevator malfunction?! Well, as they say, no questions need to be asked in some stories.
But even then the running time of the film (less than one twenty minutes) comes to its rescue, and it's all over neat and tidy in about two hours time. It doesn't brag on an on needlessly, nor does it keep you fidgeting in your seats like some whodunits do!
Performances are all good, be it that of Meghna or Indrajith, who seem to be playing the most important of roles, or that of Prathap Pothan who delivers the quirky writer role with aplomb. Remya Nambeesan is right there on top, when it comes to list of performers, and so is Nandu, Sruthi Menon, Ganesh Kumar and Baiju.
Prasanth Murali's background score wordlessly works a magic, and retains the intrigue to the hilt. Efficient cinematography by Jomon T Thomas and some real crispy editing by Ajith Kumar add up further to the appeal of the film.
Ironically, though it remains grounded and stuck at a few points, just as the elevator in it is, 'Up and Down' eventually turns out to be an appealing film. It does wander a bit away towards the final act but if you let that go, it's a twisty-turny mystery piece that could entertain you without fail.