Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 54 minutes Censor Rating : U/A

Production: Aashirvad Cinemas Cast: Manju Warrier, Mohanlal, Tovino Thomas, Vivek Oberoi Direction: Prithiviraj Screenplay: Murali Gopy Story: Murali Gopy Music: Deepak Dev Background score: Deepak Dev Cinematography: Sujith Vaassudev Editing: Samjith Mohammed

Prithiviraj's directorial debut, Lucifer is one of those rare commercial films that need not take the common route of establishing heroism at the very first scene, but slowly as the film takes its own time and invests more on the conflict at the start - Who will wrest control of the position left by the loss of a powerful man?. The film creates the hero-introduction moment through a series of setups, where characters portray him to be a mystic, Lucifer-like figure. The result is a rousing moment where we cheer the Hero, with a reason to do so.

The film begins with the death of P.K Ramadas, the supremo of a ruling political party, IUF. The tussle ensues after that, as the loss creates a leadership vacuum amongst the members of the party, and the wrestle for power is between the film's central characters, Ramadas' daughter Priyadarshini Ramadas (played by Manju Warrier), her husband and the party's financial source, Bobby (Vivek Oberoi) who wants to be the indirect whip of the party, and the reluctant Jithin Ramadas (Tovino Thomas in a guest role) and Ramadas' confidante, Stephen Nedumpally (played by Mohanlal).

Lucifer's initial portions show that the film is not shying away to present the story ahead of the hero, as we see Stephen's entry a bit delayed (for the standards of a regular hero-centric fare). But once the star arrives, the mass moments become more fun to watch, as the scenes are staged with more drama that comes through the characters established in the previous sequences. The film creates an aura that surrounds Stephen.

The first half invests more on characters, present in an age-old story (the relationship between Stephen and Ramadas' children draws parallels with that of Karna and the Pandavas). But Lucifer scores way higher in terms of form, as every mass moment is accompanied by some really striking filmmaking that sells the neatly-written moments (The first confrontation between Stephen and Bobby is an example). Though the characterization of Bobby feels one-note, he really comes across as a threat to the characters we're meant to root for. The lack of newness in terms of plot is handsomely compensated by the sophisticated filmmaking.

The second half deviates, from being a political drama to a mass film laden with action set pieces. Some of the action sequences work, especially the opening stretch of the second half, where container lorries and ferries are destroyed by a group of Bond-film style assassins. But the film undergoes this change at the expense of diluting the drama that is present in the film's first half. The characters that were introduced in the first half disappear for a brief period. And to add to the retardation, an item song is thrown at the proceeding, intercutting with a fight sequence that never touches the benchmark set by the film itself.

But Lucifer is one such films where the form and technical prowess enhance the commercial script. The visuals tell the story (one such example includes the scene where the arrival of Bobby in the party's meeting is intercut with that of a spider clinging onto the photo of Ramadas). The mass moments are overpopulated with crowds and widescreen photography covers the exteriors with a greater depth that cinemascope cannot offer. More than that, fans of Mohanlal can rejoice at the superstar's thunderous return to form. Overall, Lucifer is a mass star vehicle that entertains the audience throughout with a combination of well-written mass moments and great film-making.

Verdict: With Lucifer, Prithviraj gives us a textbook example on how to make a mass film with neat filmmaking.


3 5 ( 3.0 / 5.0 )





Lucifer (aka) Lusifer

Lucifer (aka) Lusifer is a Malayalam movie. Manju Warrier, Mohanlal, Tovino Thomas, Vivek Oberoi are part of the cast of Lucifer (aka) Lusifer. The movie is directed by Prithiviraj. Music is by Deepak Dev. Production by Aashirvad Cinemas, cinematography by Sujith Vaassudev, editing by Samjith Mohammed.