2018 Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Tanvi Ram, Aparna Balamurali, Lal, Aju Varghese, and ensemble.

Director: Jude Anthany Joseph.

2018 Movie Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

What’s Good: With a lot of heart and dedication to telling the story of a catastrophe that brought out humanity, this Tovino starrer is a winner.

What’s Bad: It sidetracks its ladies a bit too much.

Loo Break: Strictly not. The entire second half is uncomfortable to sit through, but you aren’t allowed to move away.

Watch or Not?: In a time where cinema is being used as a tool for hate, let movies about humanity, and the fragrance of it bloom even more. Watch 2018 right now.

Language: Malayalam (with subtitles).

Available On: In Theatres Near You.

Runtime: 150 Minutes.

User Rating:

Kerala is prepping up for the monsoon-like they do every year. Different regions have their share of situations as they all move towards a catastrophe. No one is prepared for what’s to come as the floodgates open and their world is immersed deep in waters; how the community rises to help the state is the movie.

2018 Movie Review (Picture Credit: YouTube)

2018 Movie Review: Script Analysis

While it is the most prominent influential tool in the world, cinema in India is right now witnessing a paradigm shift. While being in its utmost experimentation stage, it is also a hot market to sell ideologies, spoon-feed minds with agendas, and fulfill devious propaganda. Amid all this, when a filmmaker blooms like a flower in a desert and decides to tell a story of humanity and the humanness that the civilians saved their world with while the politics was helpless and hopeless, you must respect them. 2018 falls precisely in the latter category and shines brighter than any purposely made debates of films.

Written by Jude Anthany Joseph and Akhil P Dharmajan, 2018 captures the catastrophe that the floods in Kerala were in the said year. The filmmaking grammar of the movie is quite simple, multiple storylines all blending into one another at several points and the water working as the dissolvent for them all. They don’t want you to look at the evils of this world more than you already know. The opening establishes the very fact that the people of these regions are pretty self-prepared and don’t look up to the system much. Their world is about their community and its well-being. The settlement is a hilly region which is skillfully captured through a chapel where a Church stands tall on the top.

One has to really understand why Jude and Akhil, in the first hour, only establish the lives and the landscape. When they try to show you how trees stand tall right outside doors, how a tiled roof falls (using it as a comic relief at first), or how its protagonist is an eloped army officer, they aren’t passing time, they are establishing an entire movie that is about to unfold in the next 90 minutes. They are marinating you in a world that is about to be swept off by unimaginable levels of floods. This is precisely the kind of immersive filmmaking that this genre needs. Nothing is preachy, and everything is subtle, but the flipping of coin brings so much drama that the viewer is caught off guard.

Circling back to the church, there is so much depth in how the movie uses the same shot in two different situations, not to make you realise the presence of God, but to show you the extent of the catastrophe. It jumps genres like no one’s business, and there is so much to learn as a student of cinema. All of these technicalities and tons of emotions are how 2018 gets its life. It cleverly pitches multiple parallel plots of longing, helplessness, people seeking a purpose, and time bombs of life clicking, and it blends all of that in the water that will now decide the fate of the said individuals.

In the urge to seek the goodness, the movie doesn’t turn a blind eye towards the questionable. There are subtle digs at the government’s incapability in serving its state, the citizens not trying to abide by the rules, the privileged rubbing off their luxury. But the heart is exactly in the moment where an entire community of fishermen, with some from the other tropes, decide to kick start a rescue operation without any systemic help. At the end of the day, it is about humans standing for fellow humans regardless of caste, colour, race, gender.

2018 Movie Review: Star Performance

The most prominent thing about Malayalam cinema is its successful attempt to be relatable in more ways than one. The hero here is relatable; he isn’t one with abs and a perfect skincare routine. She isn’t the glamourous journalist/teacher who walks around with blow-dried hair in a setup that goes against any vanity. 2018 is about people, and the cast looks like ‘people’

Add to it Tovino Thomas and his brilliance that he takes the backseat most of times in the movie sold on his name and credibility. He successfully becomes a star who also knows how to be an actor and act humane. As Anoop he establishes himself so well. A good-for-nothing man suddenly becomes the God no one ever imagined. In a frame, during a pivotal scene, water rises to its maximum level and, with it, raises Anoop and places him face to face with God, signifying how he is the Messiah right now. He is the empathy of this story, and his trajectory is so beautiful.

Lal, in a character so humble and robust at the same time, does a brilliant job. The actor is challenged to create the character in a few scenes, and he uses his decades-long experience to an extent where a big twist makes you feel strongly for him. Asif Ali has to perform right next to the veteran, and he proves he must have been chosen to play this complex part.

Both Tanvi Ram and Aparna Balamurali get strong roles, but the writing doesn’t use them to the fullest after setting them up so well. Aparna, especially as a headstrong journalist, never gets to come to ground zero and show her finesse in the main and final act of the movie. Rest everyone put their best foot forward and create a worthy experience.

2018 Movie Review (Picture Credit: YouTube)

2018 Movie Review: Direction, Music

Jude Anthany Joseph’s direction is very calculative, and you can see that in how he balances the entire movie in several sections and then divide those sections into two parts, and then also blends them all effortlessly. One cannot be wild and so streamlined at the same time. Also, the way the drama is handled is a topic to dissect. There are so many moments that could quickly end up being over dramatic, but Jude knows where to inject what and how.

The brilliant example is when a couple row-off in a boat while the flood swallows their house brick by brick; they are crying as they watch their world is falling. The scene cuts to a little girl enjoying the same rain in a different region where the people were facing drought.

The music in 2018 is in the correct quantity. The best part is the score, where it is only raining for the most of it. The sound of rain falling on different surfaces is used so cleverly that its absence unknowingly gets registered in your mind, and you are relieved as a viewer.

All of this back by the amazing cinematography by DOP Akhil George that uses ample top-angle shots to show you the extent of destruction and hardship we are talking about. The frames try to be metaphors, and they even work in such a limited space.

2018 Movie Review: The Last Word

2018 is precisely the cinema we need right now in the times when humanity is put to test. It is the Kerala story we all deserve.

2018 Movie Trailer

2018 Movie releases on 5 May, 2023 .

Share with us your experience of watching 2018 Movie.


For more recommendations, read our Viduthalai Part One Movie Review here.

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