OTT Film: Malik
Malik Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Nimisha Sajayan, Vinay Forrt, Joju George, Dileesh Pothan, Jalaja, Salim Kumar
Malik Director: Mahesh Narayanan
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Making a crime sags is very different to making a crime film. The latter can focus on a particular event, sometimes with or without sub-plots, but the former needs to be layered, sprawling, textured, with its central character, and at times, even supporting ones, shown through a trajectory of multiple events that shape them and their actions. Given the complexity of such films and the dexterity needed to pull them off, it's not surprising that while Indian cinema has had more than its fair share of great crime movies, it's had but a handful of marvellous crime sagas, with
Nayakan, Thalapathi, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Sarkar, Company and Gangs of Wasseypur part 1 and 2 springing to mind. Even Dayavan, the remake of Nayakan, couldn't measure up to the original as enjoyable as it was. Now Fahadh Faasil and his Take Off and C U Soon Director, Mahesh Narayanan, arrive with a Malayalam crime saga of their own, Malik, that also resembles Nayakan quite a bit, especially in the first half. Does the Amazon Prime movie match up to its quality though? Well...not entirely, but that's it doesn't hold its own ground. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Malik is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Malik review...
What's it about
An impoverished boy, Sulaiman Ali (Fahadh Faasil), grows up to be the messiah of his local Muslim community in a Kerala village after graduating from his initial steps of petty crime. However, despite his best intentions he can't escape the seeds of communal disharmony sown by those who backstab him, alienating others who he had started out with, eventually culminating in him being wanted for terrorism charges by the Indian government.
Watch the Malik trailer below: VIDEO
Leaving its similarities with and derivatives from
Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam's gangster masterpiece, Nayakan (arguably, the greatest ever in Indian cinema), aside, Malik is well structured and narrated by writer-Director Mahesh Narayanan, probably even a bit better than his first film, Take Off, in terms of repeat value, and leagues better than his sophomore effort, C U Soon (I found that very overrated). The trajectory of Sulaiman's beginning and metamorphosis is etched out with proper thought and the other characters whose lives he affects or who affect his life also leave their mark. Of course, the acting too bring all this alive on screen is first rate, with everyone from Nimisha Sajayan, Vinay Forrt and Joju George to Dileesh Pothan, Jalaja and Salim Kumar putting their best foot forward, no doubt led by another brilliant, meticulous display from Fahadh Faasil. Sushin Shyam's background score and Sanu Varghese's camerawork are also first rate.
As much as you ignore the similarities to Nayakan as inspiration, Malik can't help but also feel borrowed from it at times. Plus, the films is way too long at almost 2 hours and 40 minutes, as the neither the narrative arcs nor Mahesh Narayan's control over them are that strong to hold your attention every step of the way (thank goodness for having such astute actors to mitigate such moments) – leaving question marks of Narayanan's adeptness at editing his own films (a pattern observed even in the much shorter C U Soon).
It's derivativeness, indulgent length, and moments where the narrative dips occur notwithstanding, Fahadh Faasil and writer-Director Mahesh Narayanan's third collaboration together after Take Off and C U Soon certainly holds the most repeat value of all their combined efforts, if not being their best film yet. If you're looking for a sprawling, ambitious crime sage that spans generations, and don't mind the durations, then Amazon Prime Video's Malik should be right up your alley. I'm going with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3.5 out of 5
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