Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan, Vinay Forrt
Director: Mahesh Narayanan
OTT: Amazon Prime Video
Rating: 4 Moons
With his every new release, Fahadh Faasil is becoming a force to reckon with, an enigma that has managed to cross language barriers and becoming a pan-Indian actor. The actor plays the leading role in Mahesh Narayanan directed Malik that solely revolves around Faasil’s character of an influential don. A well-written layered film Malik showcases two time periods and brings to forth the life of the protagonist with a crisp present and back-story. It also has a definitive structure that focuses on multiple characters and the politics and strife prevalent in Kerala between the Christians and the Muslims.
Malik is the story of a messiah that fights against the exploitation of poor by the local police and politicians and pays the price of it too, finally facing his Karma for all his actions. The film incorporates a lot of real life incidents in its backdrop such as the Tsunami and reveals the religious tension between two communities highlighting the corrupt system that pit one man against another.
Fahadh Faasil plays Sulaiman and stands tall in the frame and yet again proves his supremacy over his craft as he brings to fore our troubled times. He reiterates the fact that there are a few instances when an actor can become bigger than the film and can carry an entire project on his able shoulders. He envelops the viewer in his performance that no amount of exaggeration or gaping holes of the script can waver their focus. The film focuses on Sulaiman’s journey from childhood to old age and once Faasil takes over the character it is hard not to believe in the age that he is depicting on screen. Although, the makeup department definitely deserves credit it is Faasil’s nuanced portrayal that makes the character’s age believable.
Nimisha Sajayan gives admirable support to Faasil and their tender yet restrained and brooding romance spell magic on screen. Along with Faasil, we also get to see her character of Roselyn transform from the carefree innocence of youth to an old woman who is only concerned in saving her husband and his soul. Vinay Forrt plays David, Roselyne’s brother and Sulaiman’s best friend. Their friendship gets stronger when they become relatives but as the story progresses we see their fallout, so much that they are thirsting for each other’s blood. Forrt’s performance is at par with Faasil’s and it is difficult to choose between the two. Joju George also excels in his act and the trio makes the film a master class in acting.
Malik is a technically well-crafted film with Sanu John Varghese providing an impactful cinematography which would have created magic if the film had got a theatrical release. Although the film’s songs leave little impact, the background score by Sushin Shyam is terrific. The cinematography and the background score are like to unseen protagonists that help carry the narrative forward making the film a must-watch film.
However, the film offers nothing new or novel in terms of content and is a polished and new-age version of The Godfather or Nayakan. We tend to get a few déjà vu moments from earlier films in Malik and that makes it its only drawback. Writer, director and editor Mahesh Narayanan could have kept the film a bit tighter as it is long and tend to become a bit confusing at times. Nevertheless, it reflects important issues of our times with manipulative politicians, sordid differences of society and a corrupt system and the director has a vice-like grip on the narrative and extracts superlative performances from his cast and crew.
Malik is a tale reflective of today’s time and is a must watch.
PeepingMoon.com gives Malik 4 Moons.