Lucifer Movie Review: Intriguing Political Thriller Tailor-Made For Mass Audience
Director: Prithviraj Sukumaran
Cast: Mohanlal, Vivek Oberoi, Manju Warrier, Tovino Thomas
In his 17th year in cinema, actor Prithviraj dons a new garb, that of a director in Lucifer. Debut director Prithviraj is not straightaway landing a new job from the moon. Industry people very well know how he has tried and tested, in part and parcel, this department for several of the previous movies he has acted in, which went on to win critical acclaim.
Expectations touched sky high for the union of big names in Malayalam cinema, actor veteran Mohanlal, the very promising Prithviraj coupled with the Malayalam debut of Vivek Oberoi. Despite being touted as a political thriller, Lucifer promised to go off the beaten track and did justice to the claim.
Death or killing of a political veteran and the impending political tug-of-war forms the one-liner. An unexpected departure of PK Ramdas aka PKR, a doyen of the IUF political party, leaves behind baggage of many things. PKR scions – daughter Priyadarshini (Manju Warrier) and son Jathin (Tovino Thomas) -- to the power thirsty politicos and party cronies wait in the line of order. Another name doing the rounds, Stephen Nedumbully, is not preferred by all, for reasons of sorts. At some point in the script, the viewer gets an idea why and how Nedumbully was a PKR favourite. The political undertones clearly resonate an era which was so decisive in the Indian polity and a family that has hogged the limelight and headlines at that point of time.
Nedumbully cannot that easily be deciphered from the low-profile he keeps in public. Within the man in all-white lies a network of complexities, that comes out as and when the need arises, for instance, when the opponents are plotting against him or if Priyadarshini is craving for help from nowhere.
At some point of time, Nedumbully seeks the help of a Russian underworld kingpin, Zayed Masood, enacted by the director himself. This was a surprise character revealed only two days prior to the movie's release. Vivek Oberoi impeccably handles Bobby aka Bimal Nair, a corporate don, by becoming an anomaly to the league of Bollywood-brought villains speaking Hindi-coated Malayalam. Tovino Thomas for Jathin was a wise pick we could say. He bears the signs and symptoms of a foreign-bred political heir, who gels surprisingly into the Indian way of things once he is passed over the legacy.
That said, this movie is a pure intriguing political thriller tailor-made for mass audience. Prithviraj strikes a fine balance between mass and masala entertainer to fine tune his maiden work as a man with a megaphone. The film has released posters of 27 characters, big and small, prior to the release and none appear to be of least significance in the course of the movie.
Scripting by Murali Gopy is up to the mark and perfect, leaving no stone unturned for the genre. Perhaps this movie takes credit for giving Mohanlal the kind of introduction he had gotten in box office hits like Narasimham. However, the makers were cautious to avoid spoilers with flashy dialogues or expression overdo.
Sujith Vaassudev manages the direction of photography with great panache. He is associating with Prithviraj after cranking the camera for a handful of his previous movies and the combo never failed to deliver the best.
Lucifer weaves together as many elements as needed to satisfy a viewer seeking a movie of technical and executional brilliance.
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