Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Review Rating:

Genre: Action, Fantasy, History, Drama

Star Cast: Mohanlal, Hareesh Peradi, Sonalee Kulkarni, Manoj Moses, Katha Nandi, Danish Sait, Manikandan R. Achari, Hariprashanth

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery

Star Writer: P.S. Rafeeque

'Malaikottai Vaaliban' Movie Review: Technical Brilliance Overshadowed by Weak Plot
‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ Movie Review (Photo Credit – IMDb)

What’s Good: Undoubtedly, the cinematography by Madhu Neelakandan stands out, capturing picturesque shots that immerse the audience in the fantastical world. The film’s visual appeal is enhanced by the thoughtful use of colors and the creative contributions of the art department, including Gokul Das, Ratheesh Chammravattom, and Sujith Sudhakaran.

What’s Bad: The film’s prolonged runtime and consistently slow pace, exacerbated by the extended use of slow-motion editing, may test the audience’s patience. The writing, lacking a robust core concept, exhibits disjointed transitions between incidents and a need for more apparent establishment within the fantasy action genre.

Specific emotional sequences, including one between Hareesh Peradi and Mohanlal, fail to connect with the audience, with laughter overshadowing the intended emotional impact. Danish Sait’s portrayal of the antagonist, Chamathakan, also occasionally veers into slight overacting.

Loo Break: Around the 1-hour and 7-minute mark in Malaikottai Vaaliban, a song is featured. This is an opportune moment for a loo break if needed, allowing viewers to comfortably step away during a musical interlude without missing crucial plot developments.

Watch or Not?: While Malaikottai Vaaliban showcases technical brilliance and an impressive collaboration between Mohanlal and Lijo Jose Pellissery, its extended duration and occasional inconsistencies in the plot may not appeal to all audiences. Fans of fantasy action with patience for a slower narrative may be worth watching.

Language: Malayalam

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 2h 32m

User Rating:

Plot Summary: Malaikottai Vaaliban unfolds as a fantasy action film narrating the journey of its titular character, an undefeated warrior, Vaaliban. The plot turns when Vaaliban encounters a dancer named Rangapattinam Rangarani and an ominous figure known as Chamathakan, interweaving their lives and leading to significant events.

'Malaikottai Vaaliban' Movie Review: Technical Brilliance Overshadowed by Weak Plot
‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ Movie Review (Photo Credit – IMDb)

Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Review: Script Analysis

The film’s script faces significant challenges as it needs a solid foundation in a strong core concept. A well-defined central theme is required to contribute to the struggles in storytelling, resulting in disjointed transitions between scenes. Additionally, the script must establish a clear genre identity, leaving the audience with certainty about the film’s intended tone and style. These shortcomings become more pronounced in the second half. This departure disrupts the flow of the story, leaving certain aspects to be more developed and potentially confusing the audience. The script’s inability to provide a cohesive and focused narrative foundation diminishes the overall impact of the storytelling and weakens the film’s ability to engage its viewers effectively.

Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Review: Star Performance

Mohanlal dazzles as Malaikottai Vaaliban, bringing brilliance to the film. His remarkable talent and unwavering conviction shine through, effortlessly embodying the enchanting charm required to plunge the audience into Lijo Jose Pellissery’s fantasy realm. Yet, amidst the mesmerizing performance, there are occasional lapses in the seamless transition between the demands of a warrior role, leaving room for improvement. In some fight sequences, Mohanlal’s performance must improve, hindering the seamless portrayal of Vaaliban’s strength. Moreover, the emotional nuances required to convey the depth of Vaaliban’s character sometimes need to be included, preventing the complete exploration of the character’s emotional journey. Despite these nuances, Mohanlal’s overall versatility contributes significantly to the film’s appeal.

The stellar supporting cast, featuring talents like Sonalee Kulkarni, Hareesh Peradi, Manoj Moses, and Katha Nandi, injects undeniable flair into the overall performance. Sonalee Kulkarni, in particular, dazzles with an impeccable portrayal, enriching the film’s brilliance. Hareesh Peradi and Manoj Moses, despite the challenges in specific emotional sequences, showcase commendable performances that enhance the overall dynamics of the narrative. Katha Nandi’s contribution, while not explicitly detailed, adds to the ensemble’s collective effort, creating a well-rounded and engaging viewing experience.

However, Danish Sait‘s performance as the antagonist, Chamathakan, is a mixed bag. While he aptly portrays the maniacal nature of the character, occasionally veering into overacting compromises the consistency of his portrayal. Sait navigates the fine line between madness and theatrics with precision for the most part, but there are instances where the intensity seems forced. Despite this, his debut in Malayalam cinema adds a layer of intrigue to the film’s character dynamics.

'Malaikottai Vaaliban' Movie Review: Technical Brilliance Overshadowed by Weak Plot
‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ Movie Review (Photo Credit – IMDb)

Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Review: Direction, Music

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s directorial prowess in “Malaikottai Vaaliban” is a visual feast, showcasing a masterful command of cinematography and artistic flair. The film’s fantastical realm comes alive with vibrant imagery, a testament to Pellissery’s intentional framing and captivating shot selection. Yet, the dynamic direction faces hurdles with pacing and occasional script inconsistencies, challenging the expected narrative norms and impacting storytelling coherence. Despite these obstacles, Pellissery’s audacious vision boldly pushes the film beyond traditional period confines, steering it towards a fantasy-laden, fable-esque genre within a historical tapestry.

Prashant Pillai’s musical tapestry ignites the film’s narrative, weaving a dynamic blend of genres from classical and Western to Arabic and soulful melodies. The music harmonizes with the story’s mood effortlessly, elevating the cinematic experience. Yet, despite the impressive compositions, the music lacks the fiery impact needed to forge a profound emotional connection with the characters or the narrative. Despite this limitation, the soundtrack and Pellissery’s visual flair contribute to the film’s technical brilliance. The collaboration between direction and music successfully creates a visually grand and sonically engaging cinematic venture, even though some aspects may need to realize their potential fully.

Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Review: The Last Word

Malaikottai Vaaliban showcases the technical brilliance of the collaboration between Mohanlal and Lijo Jose Pellissery. While the film’s visual and musical aspects impress, its extended duration, occasional inconsistencies, and writing hiccups might make it a mixed experience for audiences. Those appreciating fantasy action with patience for a slower narrative may find moments of brilliance in this creative venture.

Malaikottai Vaaliban Trailer

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Malaikottai Vaaliban releases on 25 January, 2024.

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