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    1. #1
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      Aravind Krishnan's Avatar
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      Default 12th Man: Thoughts

      The last few years have seen an abundance of films in the Indian film industry that utilise the shock element and focus on gory details. 12th Man is a welcome departure from this formula and brings Malayalam Cinema to an old-fashioned Agatha Christie/Sherlock Holmes approach sans the gore and shock value.

      Everyone has a public life, a private life and a secret life. The movie is one of the few that matched the vibe of the trailer. For it is how this public, private and then secret life unfolds that is the highlight of the film. Right from the beginning with the well-rendered and placed 'Find' song with clever insertion of characters in the title characters, 12th Man becomes an intriguing, slow-burn mystery film which places equal importance to Mohanlal and the other 11 characters. Instead of going for a big climatic reveal or interval surprise, the makers this time focus on bringing mini-twists to each of the characters that keep you guessing while learning more about each of them. This unfortunately leads to the film's weakness in that, the climax and final portions lacked the necessary impact, with an abrupt ending. The surprise for me personally was the performances of the 11 cast members aside from Mohanlal. They were all solid throughout which was all the more important considering their equal screen importance and roles in the story.

      Despite a single location and an extensive runtime (for OTT), 12th Man's approach especially the investigation scenes and expertly executed transition sequences by VS Vinayak kept me hooked for the majority of the movie's screentime, which is no mean feat given the time of night I watched it. The way the transitions were depicted were especially praiseworthy and represent something new in the Malayalam thriller genre. What adds to the film's merits is the DOP by Satheesh Kurup who brings us into the lonely, beautiful locales of Idukki, with fantastic depiction of rain, mist and lighting that takes you to the world of the resort. The eerie atmosphere was established effectively by the makers. That said, the BGM by Anil Johnson was a mixed bag once again, too one-note and samey. The voice cameos were well executed by I believe some (seemingly) familiar names.

      Mohanlal doesn't have a particularly tough character to portray, but the effortless transition between the two personalities and ease with which he did comedy in comparison to his more recent roles, still makes it an entertaining performance. Of the other 11 individuals, I was especially impressed by Anusree, Unni Mukundan, Sshivada, Anu Mohan, Leona Lishoy, Saiju, the actor who played Jithesh (forgot his name) and even Anu Sithara.

      The film is indeed of a slow-moving kind, but this was apt for the mystery related approach chosen by the makers. In fact, it would be difficult to say where there needed to be cuts. Even the initial harmless 10-15 minutes becomes more significant the more you think of it, in the sense that the motivations and nature of characters are already introduced in the audience's minds that you get that something is rotten in this outwardly jolly friends group. Unni Mukundan must be quite amused at how he has chosen his films. First Meppadiyan and then 12th Man. The message reinforced that 'Don't trust anyone, even your best friends'. Indeed, an appropriate tagline for the movie will be 'Friends can be deceiving'. And the way in which the facades of even outwardly perfect men and women crumble makes the movie an apt companion piece to Gehraiyaan, along with importance of phones, text messages and WhatsApp in our lives. I dont think I will be heading for a holiday with a large group of friends any time soon

      Overall, 12th Man lacks the thrills and memorability of the Drishyam series, but was an enjoyable watch that kept me interested in the journeys of its 11 potential suspects. It certainly isnt a theater watch due to its slow pace and lack of ultimate suspense at the end, but apt for OTT, with an old-fashioned and unhurried classical narrative, perfect for a long winter night with a cup of Hot chocolate. For Jeethu Joseph, it's not whether the film is as good as Drishyam 1 and 2, but in how different the film is to the above mentioned films. And this is a feather in his and new writer KR Krishnakumar's cap.

      Rating: 3.5/5
      Last edited by Aravind Krishnan; 20th May 2022 at 12:54 PM.

    2. #2
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      Thanks Aravind. Good one

    3. #3
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      Good Review Aravind. I have the same opinion

    4. #4
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      thanks

    5. #5
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      Thanks AK
      INDUSTRY HIT MOVIES [based on datas]

      1.ജീവിത നൗക 2. ചട്ടമ്പി കല്യാണി 3.തച്ചോളി അമ്പു 4. അങ്ങാടി 5.മൈ ഡിയർ കുട്ടിച്ചാത്തൻ 6.ഇരുപതാം നൂറ്റാണ്ട് 7. ചിത്രം 8. കിലുക്കം 9. മണിച്ചിത്രത്താഴ് 10. അനിയത്തിപ്രാവ് 11. ചന്ദ്രലേഖ 12. ആറാംതമ്പുരാൻ 13. നരസിംഹം 14. രാജമാണിക്യം 15. ക്ലാസ്മേറ്റ്സ് 16. ട്വന്റി -ട്വന്റി 17. ദൃശ്യം 18. പുലിമുരുഗൻ *

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      detailed and brilliant review Aravind... covered almost all salient high points so vere review idunilla...��
      "Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didnt exist..." - Soze

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dr.BenAbraham View Post
      detailed and brilliant review Aravind... covered almost all salient high points so vere review idunilla...��
      Thank you, hope you enjoyed the film. Your reviews are always a pleasure to read, would love to read your viewpoint on this film.

    8. #8
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      Again gambheera review,Thanks Aravind...

    9. #9
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      Thanks a lot Spark, Ben, Sree, Anukutty, PP & King

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      As I loved this movie more in repeat watches (3 times in 3 days, yeah, I am a crazy person), decided to publish an extended set of thoughts about the movie in blog form to avoid being repetitive and long here.

      Please do provide your feedback. It would really be valued as the SS forum and its member reviews has played such a huge role in developing my writing skills. Suffice to say, this is my personal favourite of the recent Mohanlal films (Though D2 was better from a writing and performance standpoint).

      12th Man: Intriguing, Thought-Provoking Classical Mystery Film | The Wandering Mind

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