Minnal Murali is not the average superhero movie. I’m not a movie buff at all so I’ll refrain from making any further broadstrokes comparisons with other movies or any critical of analysis of what Basil Joseph and team have done differently. But I enjoyed this movie so much, I can’t help but write a short note about it because it has shown me that it’s possible to stay true to your roots and still be experimental. Let me just say, I’m in love with the concept of the lungi-clad superhero.
At its heart, even if you stripped it of the superpowers of its protagonists, Minnal Murali’s storyline tells a story of raw emotions. It is on the spine of those emotions that Malayalam cinema’s first superhero stands tall. In fact, it makes you wonder whether superhero movies need a supervillain at all. When you start telling people’s stories, the realization dawns on you that everyone is the hero of their own story. And by that, I don’t mean just the two “main” protagonists of this movie. Every character portrayed in this movie, is a protagonist in some sense. It only so happens that two of them were struck by lightning. The others are heros just like the rest of us. The strength of Malayalam movies in the past and very recently has been its ability to tell quintessentially local stories with elements of humor and satire and horror and fantasy (or in this case, unreal superpowers) as demanded by the script without being over the top. Minnal Murali continues that tradition and is very much made by and about malayalis but for the world to enjoy.
What kept me absolutely stuck to this movie, therefore, was not any awesome superhuman powers they possess but the complexity of regular human stories. I’m sure there’s more to come in this space and I can’t wait to watch it.