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    1. #1
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      Aravind Krishnan's Avatar
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      Default Lucifer: The Prithviraj-Mohanlal treat

      Venue: Peringotukkara Devaragam, 2:45 pm
      Status: HF

      Preamble


      There were multiple reasons to get excited about Lucifer. Firstly it marked the union of one of Malayalam cinema's change makers with the ultimate superstar along with one of the best scriptwriters working today. Secondly the cast of the movie was among the best assembled in recent times. And finally, the makers brought out a marana mass trailer which created a real thrill and excitement in the days before the release.

      A word on the marketing strategy may not be amiss. Thanks to the 26 character posters along with the placement of the majority of those characters in the trailer, Lucifer really brought us face to face with the story and its participants. I loved the combination of Murali Gopy's skilful dialogues with Mohanlal's baritone and the structure of the trailer was such that it was reminiscent of Hollywood films. And it clearly illustrated that the movie would be a mass entertainer set in the political spectrum.

      Synopsis and strengths

      IMO, Lucifer is one of Mohanlal's best movies of this decade. I was pleasantly surprised going in that this was not an out and out mass entertainer, rather a political drama splintered with enough mass moments along the way that satisfied both the fanboy and the movie lover in me. Ultimately this like Drishyam is a directorial achievement. Prithviraj has brilliantly brought out performances right from the least supporting actors up to the top. He has mounted the movie in a stylish manner with impeccable widescreen shots as well as attention to detail to close-up shots. But Prithviraj's biggest achievement is the way he has presented Mohanlal. The actor has not looked so stylish, badass and handsome in such a long time and his sheer screen presence along with his trademark expressions are such a treat to watch. Fight scenes, dialogue delivery and physical flexibility are added traits to the complete actor's most complete performance in a long time. Even where the film falters towards the end with an unwanted item song and some unnecessary cameos (cough cough, Mr Producer) there is a real sense of style to which those sequences are shot. I thought the final climax scene was totally badass though without logic as well as the cool entry of the superstar in black. It was great the way Stephen was built up from a quiet character towards a kingmaker without going too much over the top or with mass worshipping dialogues.

      What makes Lucifer so good is that the movie focuses on the drama (through admittedly a wafer thin story) and just when you feel like looking at your watch, BANG comes a mass moment. There are too many dialogues and mass moments to mention, I would let viewers enjoy those moments for themselves. Prithviraj's mounting of fight scenes remind you of 80s mass movies, you know who hits who, you enjoy the expressions and the frames slow down just enough for maximum impact. He is ably supported by some class dialogues by Murali Gopy and the scriptwriter also effectively conveys the politics-media-business nexus. I also loved the way the political succession was brought out through the excitable Indrajith and how Gopi presented the dethroning of the chief henchman, through a bedtime lullaby to a child.

      Lucifer's other major strength is the cast. Where much hyped films like Odiyan and Kayamkulam Kochunni failed was that the supporting cast was so poor. Here you have a Sai Kumar who is a political manoueverer right to Tovino Thomas who makes a real impact in his cameo and the likes of Baiju, Shajon, Fazil et al deliver fine performances, Baiju has a moment of his own at the end. Two actors I would have loved to see more of were Indrajith and Manju Warrier. The former nails it as an eccentric political blogger but disappears after a while. The latter delivers her finest second innings performance ever (such a fine actress, a cliche that I keep saying each performance 'best ever') and lives the role of Priyadarshini Ramdas bringing in some kick-ass shades of her own. But the biggest claps have to be reserved for a certain Vivek Oberoi who in combination with Vineeth's spot on dubbing, makes for a menacing villain. Even the foreign actors have done well in their roles.

      Technically the film is slick, stylish with some excellent explosion scenes, brilliant cinematography and a memorable BGM by Deepak Dev. It must be watched on the biggest screen. Prithviraj creates an atmosphere for the film of darkness and style, and I am still in that hangover as I write this piece now.

      Weaknesses

      What started off as an intriguing political game petered out towards the end as the fanboy in Prithvi took over. We needed more detail on Manju Warrier's character and her less than convincing fallout with that of Mohanlal. The item song was unwanted considering Prithvi's off screen promises on women's treatment in his films. Mohanlal's transformation to a larger than life character at the end also needed more conviction and logic. Prithviraj's cameo is fine as fan service and it was a treat to see the two together, but for story purposes wasn't required. The film did feel a bit on the lengthy side and could have been trimmed somewhat. The second half's initial 30 minutes meandered and it was only after Stephen got released that things picked up again. I also found the Saniya Iyappan-Vivek angle somewhat unecessary. The biggest weakness is how Prithvi lost a bit of control for those last 15 minutes which looked odd in stark contrast to the well organised and structured 150 minutes or so.

      Overall

      Lucifer is a must watch both for the hardcore Mohanlal fan and the fan of the actor in him. It is the right mix of mass style and substance and should be lauded for the assurance with which Prithviraj has steered the ship as well as the larger than life Murali Gopy script with a touch of class, as well as the brilliant performances by the vast majority of the cast.

      Verdict: Triple Paisa Vasool
      Rating: 3.75/5

    2. #2
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      Thanks DON

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      Thanks

    4. #4
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      This is one of the best reviews I read in SS on the movie and will fully agree with this.
      Same as my opinion.

      The ITEM dance was indeed lengthy and could have easily trimmed.

    5. #5
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      Thanks Aravind

    6. #6
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      Thanks Aravind Krishnan..
      Best page in SS : Read page No 228 of Odiyan official thread.

    7. #7
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      Nice review.

       Click to show spoiler


    8. #8
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      Thanks for the review
      Disagree on the below mentioned points
      Manju's fallout with Stephen is justified, there cant be a more better justification
      And bobby- saniya iyappan angle provides much needed emotional impact to the return of Stephen
      Oh ho.. kili poyi...

    9. #9
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      thanks da ....

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by pulijose View Post
      Thanks DON
      ethu don?

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