The actor breathes life into the lead character who is part of an otherwise patchy storyline.

 Pulimurugan review Mohanlals brilliance alone will ensure a great box office ride
Features Review Friday, October 07, 2016 - 19:52

 After watching South Indian superstar Mohanlal’s latest cinematic outing ‘Pulimurugan’, one is not surprised as to why Malayalis continue to parade him as one of their cult crazes.

The action thriller marks the solo debut of Udaykrishna as a scriptwriter (the first half of the hit screenplay-duo Udayakrishna-Siby K Thomas who parted ways in early 2015, and who were often criticized for churning out mindless blockbusters such as Pokiri Raja, Christian Brothers, Maya Mohini etc).

Directed by Vysakh who is guilty of earlier cinematic crimes like Pokkiri Raja, Seniors and Sound Thoma, the movie is a definite improvement over his previous celluloid outings.

So we have Pulimurugan who is the avowed Saviour of Puliyoor (a hillock village nestled in the wild) whose professed vocation is to annihilate tigers-turned-man-eaters, the moment they pose a serious threat to human life.

The rest of the cast kowtow before this larger-than-life hero who is convincingly portrayed by the thespian. There are many moments onscreen where the almost inhuman courage and strength portrayed by the lead character would have come across as downright ridiculous, but Mohanlal brings in just that subtle mix of infallibility and vulnerability that has you rooting for him till the end.

The patchy storyline could have actually been made taut with quite a few tight edits thrown in, especially if the absolutely superfluous character of Julie –portrayed by Namitha- had been done away with. The glamour quotient she supposedly brings to the movie is simply ouch!

Another avoidable character is the range officer played by Kishore whose leering bravado simply fizzles away, almost as if the director did not know why on earth he had incorporated this lamentable villain into the plot in the first place.

Kamalinee Mukherjee plays Maina –Pulimurugan’s wife and is surprisingly an utter letdown, with her constant frowns and irked behaviour just serving to reinforce the shallowness of her interpretation of a loving but tough woman.

Vinu Mohan as Pulimrugan’s younger brother may actually have had no choice but to appear sketchy, when juxtaposed with his heroic sibling. That should be enough to pardon his watery character.

Director-cum-actor Lal is his usual loud self, Makarand Deshpande is wasted, Bala is uselessly sauve and Suraj Venjaramoodu is comically clichéd. Jagapati Babu as the villainous Daddy Girija does try to look menacing, but Mohanlal effortlessly beats him even in that aspect.

The movie is said to have been shot at fabulous locales in Hanoi (Vietnam), Silent Valley, Attapadi, Mamalakandam, Pooyamkutty forests and Kothamangalam.

The man-animal encounters are superbly choreographed, thanks to veteran stunt master Peter Hein who is known for his extravagant action scenes as seen in Ghajini, Enthiran, Baahubali to name a few.

The movie is produced by Tomichan Mulakupadam, while the music and soundtrack are by Gopi Sunder.  The songs are largely forgettable, but the background score is sure to stay with you.

Though a tad too long at two hours and 41 minutes, the movie is sure to attract   crowds. If not for anything else, but for Mohanlal’s consummate acting, excellent fight sequences and breathtaking scenery.

 

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