Hyderabad: Around one hour and 45 minutes into the layered narration of 'Malik', there's a tsunami scene. Even as there is chaos all around, there's the ominous sound of the wind howling in the background. The sound brings with it a sense of foreboding, that something is about to happen.
That sense, in fact, grips 'Malik' right from the beginning and it is that suspense that keeps the viewer on the edge throughout the movie. Even in the final scenes, which come with quite an unexpected twist, it is this feeling that makes the movie one of the best in recent times.
Fahadh Faasil catapults himself into a zone which he himself will strive to match from now and in the process, cements his position as one of the best actors in the country. The different stages of Sulaiman aka Ali Ikka bring out the nuances of his talent, even as Nimisha Sajayan, Vinay Fort, and Dileesh Pothan comes up with brilliant performances. Nimisha Sajayan, after 'Nayattu' and a number of other notable performances recently, make movie lovers once again sit up and notice her Roselyn. Vinay Fort continues to make an impression as an actor of substance. Also, Vinay will be seen playing David.
Joju George plays collector Anwar Ali whose introduction is so gelled into the fast-paced narration that it takes you by surprise as he delivers another restrained performance.
Through the brilliant cast, 'Malik' tells the story of two communities in a fishing village in Thiruvananapuram, beginning sometime in the early 80s and stretching into the first decade of the millennium.
The story, though director Mahesh Narayanan says is fictional, has a close resemblance to the Beemapally firing of 2009, with the name of the fishing village in the movie, Ramadapally, too bearing a similarity. Strong political, communal, and social overtones blend into this story of a young boy, who starts off by defying his mother to go out to the sea for fishing. Slowly he grows up to be a gangster who is also a messiah for his people. Shades of Kamal Hassan's 'Nayakan' can be seen somewhere along the way.
Most of the women characters in the story are no pushovers, with veterans like Jalaja making their parts stand out in an understated yet commanding way.
The movie lives up to the build-up that preceded it and is undoubtedly a must-watch.