Netflix’s Minnal Murali, a Malayalam language film gifts Indians an admirable superhero who smoothly carves his way into everyone’s hearts. The action-packed comedy film is set in a remote village named Kurukkanmoola and follows an ambitious tailor manifesting superpowers after being struck by a lightning.
Jaison (Tovino Thomas), a tailor by profession dreams to move to the United States to endorse his skills and earn more. He deeply loves Bincy, the daughter of the sub-inspector, Saajan (Baiju Santhosh), who strongly opposes his actions.
He is shocked to hear about Bincy’s engagement and wants to confront her. A warning has already been issued in the region regarding multiple thunderstrikes and lightning due to a rare natural occurrence.
He visits her house. During their argument, Jaison gets hit by lightning. He is rushed to the hospital and he regains consciousness without any visible injuries.
Meanwhile, Shibu (Guru Somasundaram) is introduced as a castaway and works in a teashop. Shibu still nurtures his love for his childhood sweetheart, Usha (Shelly Kishore) who has returned to town after a failed marriage. Shibu is hit by lightning at the same time as Jaison.
Both Jaison and Shibu gradually discover the incredible amount of strength and the excellent reflex they have gained after the lightning strike. They keep adjusting to their new life and flaunting their newly acquired skills.
But, the problem arises when Jaison’s passport verification becomes unsuccessful due to sub-inspector Saajan’s interference. Saajan points out to Jaison that Martin, the theatre artist is his real father and not Varkey.
Varkey recounts the incident when a massive fire broke out during a village play injuring small Jaison and killing his father. Jaison becomes emotional as Varkey also conveys how Jaison’s father could have saved his life if he ran out in time but instead he stayed back to rescue people trapped within the blazing venue.
Shibu accompanies Usha while she takes her ailing daughter to the hospital. The doctor’s ask for a hefty payment to do a vital surgery. Usha, who is under huge debt is promised by Shibu that he will arrange the money.
Jaison is furious to see the bruises Varkey had in the police station and immediately plans to teach Saajan a lesson. He inquires more about superheroes and their approach from his nephew, Josemon (Vasisht Umesh). Jaison adopts the name, Minnal Murali, a superhero created by his father to exact revenge from Saajan in the upcoming event in Josemon’s school.
He beats up all the policemen while remaining completely masked. Meanwhile, Shibu breaks into a regional bank to steal money that night. News circulates that ‘Minnal Murali’ has performed both of the crimes.
What follows is Shibu putting in all his effort to malign ‘Minnal Murali’ to get his work done and Jaison putting arduous effort to find the culprit and uphold Minnal Murali’s dignity.
Guru Somasundaram enacts the role of Shibu, who serves as a perfect antagonist. Shibu’s character is thoroughly developed from beginning to end. Initially, he played a social outcast constantly rebuked.
He gets a purpose when his long lost love arrives in the town. Upon being struck by lightning, he starts to identify his recently developed talents and masters them. He takes upon the chance to be the perfect partner but his destiny has other plans.
Somasundaram is flawless and with the right proportion of nuances, the character is enhanced three-folds. The fine detailing and the constant fight between morals and actions construct a character to watch out for.
Tovino Thomas plays Jaison, a wandering adult with an overambitious dream whose family has the least hope for him. Jaison turns into Minnal Murali, a newbie exercising his skills to save people yet being hunted for a crime he didn’t commit.
Tovino Thomas also doubles as Martin Rangakala, a theatre actor and Jaison’s father. He amazes with his perfect portrayal of the variety of role-specific traits. The supporting cast did a great job in aiding the main leads evolve and shine.
The story endorses expert writing with a perfect blend of rural essence. The story has a captivating start and proceeds at a good pace.
The film exhibits well-choreographed action sequences at par with the recent standards. Appropriate regional humour and its great placement complement the light-hearted storyline.
The imagery of rural India carrying on with their regular lives pictured with the exact rawness is one of the major reasons the story will resonate with the mass.
The gradual conversion of Jaison from a devoted preacher of western ideals to finally finding peace and purpose in his roots is a focal point of the plot.
The strong and engaging buildup lags a lot towards the end with numerous diversions that could have been avoided.
The inclusion of repetitive aspects and the extra stretch at every specific incident makes the film a laborious watch sometimes.
Despite certain flaws, Minnal Murali serves as a great addition to Indian superhero centric films — a dire need for the massive Indian film industry.
A simple predictable plot yet skillfully crafted and embedded with never overdone performances makes it a worthy watch.