Pulimurugan Review: Directed by Vysakh, Pulimurugan is a movie starring Malayalam cinema superstar Mohanlal and the movie is already rocking in terms of its box office collections. Pulimurugan has reportedly earned Rs 4.83 crore on Sunday, emerging a clear winner in terms of box office collections in Kerala and Chennai.
Pulimurugan is an action-packed entertainer that will delight hardcore fans of superstar Mohanlal, with the highlight being the thrilling stunt scenes between the hero and the tiger (and yes, various media reports say it is a real tiger!). As an actor, Mohanlal’s flexibility in pulling off many bold stunt scenes is commendable. The SFX work in Pulimurugan is impressive and is the USP of this action film.
However, Pulimurugan is not without its share of gaps and flaws. Several minor character artists have only one role – to glorify the attributes of the hero. The narrative also raises the hero to an almost god-like stature in killing tigers, which may not go well with those who are committed to causes relating to animal rights and “Save the Tiger”.
For avid movie goers, here are 5 things to know about Mohanlal’s latest movie ”Pulimurugan”:
1. Pulimurugan story: The story revolves around the people of a village called Pulliyoor, whose lives are always under threat because of the danger of man-eating tigers straying into their territory. Children are constantly told to go inside their thatched homes and not play outdoors because of the tiger threat. The ”savior” of the village is ‘Pulimurugan’ who uses a “Vel” ( a spear that is used by Lord Murugan in mythology to vanquish enemies) to kill even the most fearsome tigers.
The hero – Pulimurugan – is shown as an honest, family man, almost child-like in his approach to life’s challenges but his only “weakness” is his younger brother, for whom he is ready to make compromises. His love for his younger brother lands him in big trouble later on. This forms the crux of the narrative.
2. Pulimurugan performances: Pulimurugan is a film that is flanked by many character actors. Some performances rocked and others fell totally flat.
Here’s a quick summary of what worked and what didn’t:
Lal & Mohanlal team up again: After their stunning performance together in ”Kanmadam”, actors Lal and Mohanlal have teamed up again. Lal is a superb actor and he plays the role of ”Balaraman” – who is Mohanlal’s uncle – to perfection. The scene where they get drunk, sing a famous Malayalam super-hit song, is bound to evoke a dash of nostalgia in many Malayalam movie lovers. However, the character of ”Balaraman” could have been fleshed out much more to bring out the best of Lal as an actor who comes with an amazing range of acting abilities such as impeccable dialogue delivery, humor and timing.
Jagapathi Babu as Daddy Girija: Jagapathi Babu as Daddy Girija is the obvious villain of the narrative. He is tall, striking and delivers an impressive performance with his booming voice. Sadly, the thunder is stolen, not by the tiger or the tiger hunter, but by the predictability of the script and the dialogues given to him.
Master Ajas, the boy who portrays Mohanlal’s childhood: This child artist deserves a special mention of appreciation for setting the narrative in motion. His expression, body language and terrifying sequences with the tiger were outstanding.
Kamalini Mukherjee as Myna: The “heroine” starring Kamalini Mukherjee was most disappointing of the lot. She had only one expression throughout the movie – sulky.
Suraj Venjaramoodu as Poongayi Sasi: If peeping Toms and bathroom stalkers can still be presented as ”harmless,” it hardly makes for humor or comedy! Sasi’s habit of peeping at women is passed off as a normal comedy sequence. Suraj Venjaramoodu’s role in Pulimurugan is disappointing and thrives on tasteless, double-meaning jokes that fall flat.
3. Peter Hein’s stunning stunt sequences: Peter Hein, of Baahubali and Enthiran fame, has choreographed some of the most chilling and breathtaking sequences in Pulimurugan. Even though you know that many of the Tiger-Mohanlal stunt scenes are choreographed with special effects, you will be glued to the edge of your seats while watching Pulimurugan.
4. Gopi Sundar’s music: From start to finish, Pulimurugan strikes the right notes with the background music. All credit goes to Gopi Sundar.
5. Script Flaws: There are many flaws and contradictions in the film narrative. While glorifying the hero’s act of killing of man eating tigers, it is baffling when the message “we will not kill a venomous snake – the forest belongs to creatures of the forest first, we humans are trespassing their space” is delivered by another character. Several minor character artists have only one role – to glorify the attributes of the hero, thereby diluting the film’s broader narrative. For instance, actress Namitha has no role to contribute in this film unless flashing the midriff is a “meaningful” part of the narrative. Yet Namitha shares considerable screen time and space across several time frames with the heroine and the hero!
For Mohanlal fans, Pulimurugan is a celebration of everything they like about their favorite actor. He tosses the tiger as if it is a rabbit, beats villains to pulp even while carrying a wounded man on his shoulder and yet struggles to spell his younger brother’s designation board which reads, “Marketing Manager.”
Wrapping up with super star Mohanlal’s happy update on his Facebook page: “Sharing happiness increases sweetness, #Pulimurugan success celebration at the location of Munthiri Vallikal Thallirkumbol at Shimla.”
No doubt, Mohanlal fans will watch Pulimurugan more than once!