Strictly for fans: a badass Lal and all that jazz

Strictly for fans: a badass Lal and all that jazz

A still from Lucifer


Malayalam (U/A)

Cast: Mohanlal, Vivek Oberoi, Manju Warrier, Tovino Thomas

Director: Prithviraj Sukumaran

Rating: 2/5


Lights, camera, Mohanlal...

Lucifer arrives to a thousand hallelujahs. The hail brigade, in fact, gets down to business much before the fallen angel descends on screen.

In 2 hours 54 minutes, there are a zillion slo-mo shots designed solely to test the lung power of Mohanlal devotees. And they lap it up with a throaty flourish.

Well, well, we truly understand the fans. But what's with Prithviraj — an actor of considerable repute making his directorial debut here — wearing his heart on his sleeve, and the whole of his clothing! His Lucifer is nothing but a costly nod to Lalism. It's one thing to admire an actor. It's another to be blinded as a fanboy.

So, you have a Stephen Nedumpally (Mohanlal, playing the go-to man of Keralites, Mumbaiites, Russians, Arabs and pretty much the entire universe) fighting an ugly power battle after the death of his political mentor.

Manju Warrier, Vivek Oberoi and Tovino Thomas play their own games and turn pawns in a tale that is powered entirely by Mohanlal's machismo. That studied gaze, twirling of moustache and the quintessential fights which are not complete without a peep of his white underpants...

Lucifer is all swagger as he makes a Machiavellian statement: It's not good versus evil, but evil versus evil. Which accounts for the dozen Biblical references in the movie, revolving around a 'god' whose empire is brought down by devils in angels' garb, and reclaimed by a greater evil.

Dressed in crisp white, Lal spills gallons of blood and accounts for a truckload of corpses. Prithviraj joins the massacre at the fag end. Amid the choking socio-political proceedings, Tovino pops up to offer some fresh air.

A character in the movie mouths a gem of a dialogue — that he watches "mass masala" entertainers just to know when the crowd goes berserk, so that he can use those cues for political mileage. Clearly, Prithviraj stacked a lot of masala, but forgot to make a meal.