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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Malayalam survival thriller Manjummel Boys streaming on Disney+Hotstar is a must watch

Directed by Chidambaram, Manjummel Boys is the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time with a worldwide collection of Rs 241 crore gross

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 15.05.24, 02:49 PM
The cast of Manjummel Boys comprising Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, Balu Varghese, Ganapathy and Jean Paul Lal

The cast of Manjummel Boys comprising Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, Balu Varghese, Ganapathy and Jean Paul Lal IMDb

After tasting success with his debut comedy drama Jan-E-Man in 2021, Malayalam filmmaker Chidambaram returned this year with a survival thriller, Manjummel Boys, which has become the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time with a worldwide collection of Rs 241 crore gross. Following the scintillating theatrical run, Manjummel Boys made its digital debut on Disney+ Hotstar last week. If you haven’t been able to catch the film at the theatres, do watch it now. Here’s why.

Based on a true incident

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Set around a real-life incident, Manjummel Boys unfolds in Manjummel, in the heart of Kerala's Ernakulam district, where a group of friends are having a blast at a wedding. The drunken revelry soon turns into a brawl with the friends splitting into two groups, leading to a tug-of-war to decide which group is better.

Up till this point, it’s a bit tough to keep track of what is happening and to figure out who among this raucous bunch are the main characters, but the carefree vibe of the first 40 minutes lays the groundwork for what is to come.

A weekend trip turns into a nightmare

The plot takes off when one of these two groups goes on a weekend trip to Kodaikanal. A fan of Kamal Haasan’s classics, these 10 men decide to visit the Guna caves where Haasan’s 1991 film Gunaa was shot. Despite warnings and barriers marking restricted areas, they walk over to the off-limits terrain of Guna caves where one of them, Subhash (Sreenath Bhasi), trips and falls into a gorge.

Though his band of boys are by Subhash’s side, rescuing him will obviously take more than a village. With time ticking away, they cannot even call for help from their friends back in Manjummel.

A tale of resilience and friendship

Manjummel Boys is more than a regular survival thriller, offering instead a nuanced exploration of friendship, resilience and one’s capacity for hope in the face of adversity. Director Chidambaram draws the viewer into the evolving dynamic of the group by switching between moments of lighthearted banter and heart-wrenching tension.

As the stakes go higher, with adverse weather conditions, uncooperative local authorities and folklore complicating the rescue efforts, these guys from Manjummel undergo a transformation, evolving from troublemakers to steadfast allies united by a common purpose — bringing Subhash back to safety.

The film rests on stellar performances by Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, Balu Varghese, Ganapathy and Jean Paul Lal, painting a vivid picture of camaraderie amidst the lush backdrop of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Sreenath Bhasi helps the viewer forge a deep connection with his character, Subhash, whose plight serves as the catalyst for this gripping tale.

An immersive experience

Visually captivating, Manjummel Boys showcases the breathtaking landscape of Kodaikanal and the rugged terrain of Guna caves with stunning precision. From sweeping drone shots to intimate character moments, the cinematography immerses you in the unfolding drama.

The film’s soundtrack, punctuated by soft melodies and nostalgic callbacks to the song Priyathama Neevachata Kusalama from Haasan’s Gunaa, enhances the emotional resonance of key scenes, heightening the sense of poignancy and urgency.

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