Guardian Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film | Crime, Thriller | 2h 10min
Director Satheesh Paul's film is a police procedural whose inspiration is quite obvious, and whose treatment generic. It avoids many thriller genre cliches, despite not transcending these. It is for a sucker for the genre, and is available on a Pay-Per-View basis on the app Prime Reels.
Jan 4, 2021 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Satheesh Paul's 'Guardian' may be listed as a thriller, but it is not quite a suspense thriller in that the movie neither has any suspense nor thrills. It is more of a police procedural whose inspiration is quite obvious, and whose treatment generic. Anyhow, that is not to say, it is a bad film. It is watchable and engaging enough, especially for suckers of thriller films like myself.

Think of it as a courtroom drama. In many courtroom dramas, we know the identity of the killer and their motive. In Guardian, we also know the way in which the murder is committed. So, the main factors that keep us engaged till the end are how the cops solve the case and what happens to the protagonists.

The plot is pretty straightforward, and so is the execution. Saiju Kurup and Nayana Elsa play a married couple. She has a relationship history, but he is not concerned with it. Things change for them as an uninvited guest enters their life with a motive that can destroy it.

As said, 'Guardian' is quite straightforward in its treatment of the thriller genre. In most respects, that is a downside, but in some regards, it is also a good thing. Two things that usually annoy me in thrillers are red herrings and fake suspense elements. Even quality suspense thrillers have those elements. Take the flashback sequences in Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani, for instance. The Hindi film could have done without those scenes.

Guardian lacks red herrings, meaning some clues strategically included in the movie to mislead the viewer. It does not have any phoney suspense element, either. Even the obligatory scene of the dead body discovery is skipped through here. That is a sign that the makers have confidence in the story they are telling. It is a clean police procedural, which could have worked more if the makers paid more attention to some other filmmaking aspects.

For a movie like this to work, the acting, characterization, editing and lines all have to be good. There is one scene where the main investigators rationalize the crime in a way that justifies it. I do not believe that cinema as an art form is powerful enough to influence the audience at such a personal level that one film can make good people bad. The environment and circumstances and society where we grow up can have such influence, but not movies. Nevertheless, for a movie that circumvents many of the thriller genre cliches, the makers of Guardian could have avoided that rationalization. In other words, it is not something we would associate with a movie that is slightly smarter than your average thriller.

The choice of the cast members is quite good, but there is not much in the way of performance here. Saiju Kurup is an inspired choice for this sort of film. Kurup is usually typecast as a comedy actor, but he finally gets a film with something to sink his teeth into. Anyhow, the makers should have used him in more challenging scenes. Sijoy Varghese looks, walks and talks like a police officer, but he is not competent enough to play this part with finesse. Miya and Nayana Elsa, meanwhile, have little to do here except for playing out the obligatory scenes. I feel for the actors because they could not have done much differently here as the writing does not rise above a generic level.

Sreejith Mullappilly



This is the best movie I 've ever seen. From the beginning to the end of the film, the director and the actors have work... Show more
This is the best movie I 've ever seen. From the beginning to the end of the film, the director and the actors have worked tirelessly. In it they all succeeded. The performance of the new music director with the new singers was also excellent. The storyline has a lot to do with today's contemporary era. The film also conveyed a good message. There is no doubt that Saiju Kurup will always be a great character and filmmaker in his work.