Lucifer Malayalam Movie Review
Mohanlal plays a man with the guise of a politician, the determination of a killer and the heart of a common man in Lucifer. His Stephen Nedumpally is the kind of man who has no trouble sharing bedtime stories to kids and holding people at gunpoint. Mohanlal captures the essence of both personas, that of a villain and hero, with ease.
Prithviraj Sukumaran's first film is no star-vehicle and neither does it involve one-on-ones that go on and on. Yes, the film is lengthy, but Mohanlal does not read out dialogues the length of a two-paged essay from scene to scene, as in his past blockbusters. That itself a nice change of pace.
The strength of the political film lies in the strong ensemble cast, which includes seasoned actors and new-age stars. The plot of Lucifer is pretty simple, for a film with political elements. It begins at an end: we are told early on that the Kerala CM and IUF party veteran P. K. Ramdas is no more. The other party veterans, Mahesha Varma (Saikumar) and Medayil Rajan (Shivaji Guruvayoor), think about whom to make temporary CM until the next election.
The riveting Vivek Oberoi plays Bimal Nair/Bobby, who has connections with the drug cartel. Early on in Lucifer, Bobby strikes a drug consignment deal with one of them in return for crores. This rings danger for Kerala, where the drugs are supposed to land. Bobby aims to use this money to fund and build his father-in-law's party. In PKR's absence, Bobby takes control of the party, and all hell breaks loose from thereon.
The brilliant Manju Warrier plays Priyadarshini, the daughter of the erstwhile politician, and Bobby's wife. She does not like Stephen, and we wonder what has our leading man done to evoke the enmity in her. That is for you to find out.
There are many goings-on in Lucifer, and then there is politics. The entry of Jathin Ramdas into politics make things more interesting. Prithviraj's ensemble cast have all done an absolutely brilliant job. Tovino Thomas as Jathin Ramdas only has a couple of scenes, but Murali Gopi's script has allowed Prithviraj to utilize Tovino in an imaginative way. There is a fabulous scene, introducing Jathin as the next CM candidate, which makes fun of the system. The level of detailing in this scene is simply amazing. The script written by Murali Gopi has stunning dialogues and exchanges. Prithviraj has crafted a film with painstaking attention to detail.
The drama is high on emotions, but the content is not loaded to lull us into sleep. Yes, there are biblical references, which at times sound heavy. The film does not have much flaws, but if you are to nitpick, it does have some. There is the underutilized concept of a role played by Prithviraj's brother, Indrajith Sukumaran. While this idea of using Facebook Live, instead of a voiceover, to introduce new characters is interesting, it makes the film lengthy by a few minutes. Indrajith in the role of Govardhan does a stellar job, and you could say that about everyone involved in the making of Lucifer.
Instead of pandering to Mohanlal's hard core fans, Prithviraj has used Lalettan in a role that
does full justice to his talents. It is also thanks to Murali Gopy's script that in a 3-hour film, Mohanlal is the highlight. Sometimes, his Stephen Nedumpally does not say dialogues, and one wonders whether Mohanlal even require one to carry off scenes. His eyes have a steely determination, conveying Stephen's bottled up angst and menace.