Alone Malayalam Movie

Feature Film | 2023 | Drama, Thriller
Shaji Kailas' film has Mohanlal as a mysterious man living alone in an apartment during peak COVID. The premise of the film may be interesting, but the writing is poor. Even if you consider that Mohanlal is self-parodying these days, you cannot overlook the lousy writing he gets.
Mar 4, 2023 By Sreejith Mullappilly

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Shaji Kailas' Alone features Mohanlal as Kalidas, a man who comes to a mysterious Cochin apartment during peak COVID. Kalidas wears a mask to protect himself from COVID-19 and gives a lecture every ten minutes about following safety standards. Mohanlal is the only actor visible in the whole movie, but there are other stars doing voice-overs.

In fact, it is more interesting to try and recognise the owner of each of the voices in the movie than to make sense of the plot. Kalidas lives in a mysterious house that may or may not be haunted. He pieces multiple details together to unravel the mystery behind the voices he hears and the presence he feels in the apartment.

This is a heavily talkie film, which means there are many conversations between the characters. The conversations in the movie often shift from a serious thriller to a more easy-going drama. A piece of conversation about mental health during COVID paves the way to one about cooking vegetable fries. A lot of the conversations are so pointless that they are there just to take the movie to a point that satisfies a standard runtime for Malayalam cinema.

Most of the characters in the film are so weird. There is a Manju Warrier character with a weird sense of understanding about gender equality. She thinks that her lover giving her the freedom to call him "da" is the perfect example of gender equality. Just to underline this, Mohanlal's Kalidas describes himself as a man who believes in so-called equal rights. The conversations between Manju Warrier and Mohanlal hardly build up to anything substantial.

There are many other voice-over appearances, and the only one with some semblance of substance is that of Prithviraj Sukumaran, who seems to be playing a gangster character from another movie's set. The writing is so lazy that you cannot even give it the benefit of doubt that a typical COVID-era movie perhaps deserves. I understand that it is challenging to make an engaging film that happens mostly indoors, but Mahesh Narayanan's "C U Soon" and Ranjith Sankar's "Sunny" are better examples of COVID-era cinema.

The element of mystery in the plot is so implausible, and the twist is so predictable. What does not help are the annoying camera angles that the filmmaker employs here. What makes it worse is the obvious use of CGI for the sky views from the balcony of the apartment. Fancy shots and CGI cannot make up for lousy writing.

Speaking of writing, Mohanlal's character is so poorly written that even the great actor cannot do much to save it. Even if you consider that a Mohanlal performance is sometimes an act of self-parody these days, you cannot overlook the lousy writing he gets. At one point, he makes a dessert called Semiya Payasam in a few seconds. At another point, he gives Wikipedia-level details about the Butterfly Effect, something that is unrelated to the plot of the film. He even uses the sanitizer like an insecticide spray. Besides, don't get me started on the plot.

Sreejith Mullappilly