Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol review

Vellimoonga director Jibu Jacob’s Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol has a down-to-earth protagonist – a panchayat secretary named Ullahanan (Mohanlal) who is so bogged down by the daily grind that he is oblivious to extract happiness out of his life. However, a college reunion takes him back to a few decades, wanting him to fall in love again. And as he does, he finds excitement and renewed vigour to enjoy everything he took for granted in his life – his wife, children, friends and job. 

Mohanlal does a 180 degree after his previous release Pulimurugan with this movie, showing how versatile he can be. The first half hour has the actor in his subdued best as he goes through the motions. Once he rekindles his excitement, the entire persona onscreen gets a makeover and the fluidity with which he carries off the role makes it enjoyable to watch. Meena, as Ullahanan’s wife Annieamma, shines as the homemaker who wants more from life. The chemistry between the leading duo make every dialogue shared amusing. 

The film, which is inspired by VJ James’ short story Pranayopanishad, is peppered with cameos and side stories – including flirtatious episodes of Anoop Menon’s character and a puppet panchayat president played by Suraj Venjaramoodu. Most of the story evolves in an apartment complex and Ullahanan’s friends’ circle formed by middle-aged husbands played by Anoop, Alencier Ley and Kalabhavan Shajon make a refreshing combo. In fact, the trio also get a lot of comic one-liners that keep the story from getting preachy at times. For instance, there’s a scene where Mohanlal recounts his college days pensively and talks about learning from the love letters of his ex-flame; when Alencier breaks the train of thoughts asking, “Where could he have ended up otherwise?” 

The movie’s strength is undoubtedly its script and dialogues written by M Sindhuraj. There are so many times where you feel like the movie would go a predictable path or get preachy but the director and scriptwriter has ensured that they have kept things fresh while pointing out that communication can iron out all flaws in today’s relationships. The subplots too all add up to show the different changes that happen in Ullahanan’s life once he finds love again. The movie’s second half though is a bit on the slower side with another subplot weaved in just to keep the audience hooked. While the payoff is sweet like a wine made to age, the film could have been trimmed by 15 minutes. 

Bijibal’s background score keeps the family entertainer from being over melodramatic while also sustaining the feel-good mood throughout. Munthirivallikal Thalirkumbol is one of the better family-oriented movies to come out in Mollywood in a long time and is worth watching.

courtesy :The Times of India


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