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LUCIFER (Malayalam) - It's difficult to make a film on a fresh plot, but it's much more difficult to make a multi-starrer winner on a familiar plot presenting a larger than life hero in style giving you goose bumps. (Review By Bobby Sing)

01 Apr, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Beginning with the revelation right away, this is neither any path breaking film nor any exceptional never before kind of achievement by its well-known actor turned director. The film made on a completely familiar plot also doesn’t have new characterisations or sequences which you haven’t seen before. And it’s quite long of almost 3 hours in duration too, with a lot of easily predictable twists particularly in its second half.
As a film, it’s also the one which starts brilliantly like a taut, intriguing political thriller with a vision, turning into a pure vengeance drama in the second half following the typical filmy format, also inserting the oldest trick in the books of a pregnant woman’s blame and a (Hindi) item number in the climax in the most cliched manner. 
Above all it also features Vivek Oberoi as the villain – can’t say why he was called in to play the role without putting in any novelty as such. 
But yet – despite all the above-mentioned strictly routine features LUCIFER (meaning ‘bearer of light’ or ‘the light-bringer’), still works and works in a splendid, entertaining way, because the film has been made in style - having all the expected and most appreciated ingredients in our Hero dominated cinema, intentionally focusing on his larger than life persona exploding on the silver screen.
Moreover, the narration also has many references related to present political scenario in the country, especially in Kerala (along with some Biblical allusions). And one can easily figure out the pointers sighting flags with specific colours and names such as Priyadarshini, NPTV, Public TV and more. 
So, LUCIFER is no doubt a familiar political thriller revolving around the possible successors of a dead politician, but it works as it has been designed and presented as a perfect fan boy offering to his idol with the best possible styling, giving him the kind of role, he has been famous for in the past decades.
After completing his century in cinema as a renowned star, this is Prithiviraj’s debut directorial venture and an accepted, unabashed as well as unapologetic tribute to one of the most exceptionally talented and respected, cult stalwarts of our Indian Cinema - Mohanlal. 
Prithiviraj makes this in a grand scale and that’s visible right from the opening sequences with a political crisis depicted with huge crowds and a bit lengthy introduction of all characters transporting you to a different cunning & manipulative world of crude politics. 
But it all changes the moment Mohanlal makes his entry as one of the possible successors – a close associate of the departed leader – and his very first scene in slow motion greeted by cheers and shouts from the crowd does complete justice to his gigantic onscreen persona playing the lead role of Stephen.
From here onwards, LUCIFER - written by Murali Gopy, turns into a highly enjoyable ride – wherein Prithviraj incorporates every possible element to glorify the superstardom of his icon including lots of stylised slow motions shots, loud but energetic-pumping background score, action sequences giving you an adrenaline rush and fiery dialogues with references to Mohanlal famous hits, received by loud whistles and claps every single time. 
In fact, the timely introduction of new characters at regular intervals (also featuring Prithviraj himself) and solid, well written punch lines coming one after another keep you thoroughly invested in the film even when you know this is nothing new and has everything seen before missing the required explanations and logical reasoning too.
Admitting the truth, this is indeed a perfect example of guilty pleasure, watching something entirely focused on a larger than life hero, similar to what we used to enjoy, cherish and go for repeated viewings in the last century as young mad film buffs during our school and college years.
Would love to quote some comparisons relating the experience of watching LUCIFER to Hindi cinema that should clearly give you an idea what the film has in store in terms of content and entertainment.
Unfortunately, the millennials have yet not experienced the concept of multi-starrer films in their complete glory since the present new-age Hindi cinema mostly deals in solo hero films competing with each other. But watching a multi-starrer with every hero being introduced individually with specially written sequences and then coming for each other’s help just in time, gives you a completely different energised experience that sadly is not to be found in a solo hero film. 
As an example, just think about the crowd, the moment Mithun wakes up from his sleep on the top of the bus listening to gunshots in GHULAMI and then jumps down with his gun to support Dharmendra in his fight against the zamindars.
That kind of experience you get watching Prithviraj coming to support Mohanlal in LUCIFER and then both offering their salaams to each other.
Besides, there are clashes in the film between Mohanlal and the police officials which readily reminded me of Dharmendra in GHULAMI as well as Sunny Deol in GHAYAL attacking the officer in charge.
Anyway, addressing the new-age movie buffs, watching a multi-starrer is exactly like watching the Avengers film with superheroes and superwomen coming for each other’s help right in time greeted with loud roar from the crowd. And just think for a while if the same scenario happens, involving three of the most famous stars featuring in a film together.
Coming back to LUCIFER describing it differently, for a moment, just imagine if any of the three Khans, Akshay, Hrithik or any other renowned star of Hindi Cinema decides to go for his first directorial venture as a fan boy tribute to the star of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan, giving AB the lead role along with himself featuring in the film as his timely aid. The film not only brings them together but you also get to see AB back in his old ‘angry young man’ form in many brilliantly shot, slow-motion sequences as well as fights, surprising the opponents, rendering lines from his hit films of the past in style. 
Try to visualise the sequences in a new release with Amitabh saying, “Yeh Police Station Hai Tumhare Baap Ka Ghar nahin” or “Main Aaj Bhi Phenke Hue Paise Nahin Uthata” or “Yeh Tum Jaanti Ho Yeh Revolver Khaali Hai, Main Jaanta Hun Ke Yeh Revovler Khali Hai Magar Police Nahin Jaanti Ke Yeh Revolver Khaali Hai”

Just think of the roar in the theatre as these dialogues will be there in the film and the euphoria it would create among the viewers of every age group watching it with love and affection.
That’s exactly what happens in LUCIFER with Mohanlal doing the same back in his old form and Prithviraj directing his icon successfully creating the delightful, nostalgic euphoria taking you back in times.
In all, yes LUCIFER isn’t any great masterpiece creation in terms of storyline or theme. But it’s a film with everything our Indian cinema is known and cheered for and hence is sure going to be loved by the die-hard fans of mainstream cinema, particularly the fans of Mohanlal and Prithviraj.
On a concluding note, it's difficult to make a film on a fresh plot, but it's much more difficult to make a multi-starrer winner on a familiar plot presenting a larger than life hero giving you goose bumps.
So, do watch it in theatres (with English Subtitles) to feel the same old magic back after a long time and enjoy it with shouts, claps and cheers as we spiritedly used to do it in the gone decades.
Would like to end with a dialogue from the film perfectly suiting the present season of elections and it says.
“Idealism is dead!
Now politics is a fight between evil and the lesser evil.” 

Rating : 3.5 / 5  

For friends interested in reading more about the multi-starrer Hindi films and its comparison with Avengers, following is the link to the article written a year back with the same references.



Tags : LUCIFER Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Indian Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Malayalam Movies Review by Bobby Sing, Must See Indian Cinema in Regional Languages, Mohanlal back in form
01 Apr 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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