12th Man Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2022 | Drama
Critics:
Audience:
Jeethu Joseph's 12th Man is short on thrills and nail-biting moments. This is not to say that the movie is bad or unwatchable, though. It has some good performances and an intriguing plot.
May 21, 2022 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Jeethu Joseph's 12th Man has a simple yet fascinating plot. It follows a group of close friends who gather at a resort in Kerala for a party as one of them is about to get married. During the party, they decide to play a game that involves each of them putting their calls on speaker or reading out their text message. Soon, a piece of communication reveals a deeply private secret of one of them, leading to seemingly small conflicts within the group. I said seemingly, because the revelation is more serious than meets the eye. It contributes to the death of one character, paving the way for a courtroom drama-like investigation. Only, here, a resort room replaces the courtroom.


Mohanlal plays a police officer who behaves as a Hercule Poirot- or a Sherlock Holmes-like character. That is to say, he mainly uses his observation skills to tell lies and truths apart. Jeethu Joseph uses unreliable narrators and the Roshmon effect in ways that make the audience treat each of the group members as a suspect. By the time the investigation starts, the writer cum director sets up the behavior types of the members. This forces us to take sides with or make a judgement about each of them as Lal's character questions them. This is an inherent flaw of the film because it deprives us of whatever little shock value that the revelations of the investigation have. Somewhere, the audience will realize that one of the group members is the killer.


On top of that, the audience will expect wow-inducing moments from the writer and director of the two Drishyam movies and Memories. In Jeethu Joseph's defense, it is hard to measure up to the standards that those earlier films have set. However, as an audience member, it is also hard for one not to feel that the big reveal of a Jeethu Joseph film is disappointing. Even the recent, standard thrillers in Malayalam cinema at least have a twist or two in the climax that makes you want to jump from your seat. 12th Man is short on thrills and those nail-biting moments. This is not to say that the movie is bad or unwatchable, though. It has some good performances and an intriguing plot.


Seeing how deeply personal details threaten to derail the relationships between these characters, will make you wonder how much each of them values friendship and how close they are.


Mohanlal is a bit clumsy in the portions where he acts like a drunken man but is quite riveting in the investigative parts. Perhaps it would have been better to introduce Mohanlal's character at the hour mark. The parts where he acts drunk add little to the overall plot or screenplay of the movie. The other actors also play their parts exceedingly well. I also liked how Satheesh Kurup shot the nocturnal parts of the movie. Despite its flaws, it is worth noting that 12th Man has the look and feel of a thriller. The premise and the ambience make the movie a bit somber, but it is worth noting that it also takes a lot of skill to set up that mood.

Sreejith Mullappilly

   

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Suby Jerrin

Awesome thriller, nobody would guess anything and where the story is going. May be considered a little lazy for the fac... Show more
Awesome thriller, nobody would guess anything and where the story is going. May be considered a little lazy for the fact that almost the entire movie is shot in a single hall.
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