The flawed, vulnerable, tangible, achingly ordinary boys/men who own up to their faults, spout no sassy punchlines, refuse to rise to a bait, make no tall promises, sulk, cry, laugh and love with abandon. We bring you our list of recent favourites from Malayalam cinema who subvert traditional notions of heroism.
Mathan (Mayaanadhi): Mathan (Tovino Thomas) is the eternal, optimistic, unconditional lover, who lead s two parallel lives. He gets into various shady deals, accidentally kills a cop and, when need be thrashes two cops simultaneously. But in front of Appu (Aishwarya Lekshmi), he is as mild as milk; someone who, despite being shoed away and insulted, keeps coming back to her like a lost puppy. She calls the shots in their relationship and Mathan, is the willing, loving boyfriend who might even agree to get her the moon if she wants.
Mahesh (Maheshinte Prathikaram): Maheshâ€™s (Fahadh Faasil) breakdown after witnessing his lover getting married is one of the most poignant scenes of the film. Itâ€™s a heart-wrenching, helpless cry of someone who has mustered the courage to let his tears flow after days of putting up a brave face for the world. And Mahesh takes time to get over her, and when he gets lucky for the second time in love, he lets her take charge of everything, including the final proposal. She also becomes the one who indirectly helps him re-discover photography.
Majeed (Sudani from Nigeria): You would think, from the way he handles those tall formidable Kenyan footballers, that Majeed (Soubin Shahir) is a toughie at heart but nothing could be further from the truth. The man is still nursing a broken heart from the time his mother remarried and for the life of him, cannot accept his stepfather. He still misses his dad and probably his mom too, as he has distanced himself from her after she remarried. That also explains his quest to get married. To be loved again unconditionally.
Baiju (Rakshadikari Baiju): Baiju (Biju Menon) is the epitome of contentment. He is happiest in his tiny village, in the midst of friends and family, playing gully cricket, helping out with odd jobs, and solving minor conflicts. Baiju is the kind of guy you can see in every villageâ€”the one who doesnâ€™t take himself too seriously, whose life begins and ends in that vicinity, ambitious only in spreading happiness in others' lives. He is a hero without even trying.
Sibi Sebastian (Carbon): This local ten percenter, played by Fahadh Faasil, with his half-baked but persistent plans to make a quick buck, is one of the most interesting lead characters this year. He is a loner; too preoccupied with himself to get into deep relationships. He is your regular, ruthlessly ambitious young man, who sort of doesnâ€™t mind bending rules to get money, but tends to procrastinate occasionally.
Prasad (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum): The crafty thief (Fahadh Faasil), who is as adept at stealing gold chains as he is at assuming a name, an identity, and weaving a likely story to the cops, in no time. Prasad with his lost puppy brown eyes and scrawny figure is a man from nowhere. Yet we are consumed by a strange sense of empathy for him. He drops casually profound hints about the kind of childhood he has had, smilingly maintains that he is innocent, tries to emotionally manipulate Prasad (Suraj Venjaramoodu) and Sreeja (Nimisha Sajayan) and when caught, admits that the â€śtrick is to stick to your guns till the end.â€ť
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