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12th Man Malayalam Movie Review ; A watchable suspense movie that will keep you guessing till the end

12th man malayalam movie review

REVIEW: 12th Man

ONE WORD: A watchable suspense movie that will keep you guessing till the end. 

  • RELEASE DATE: 20th May 2022
  • DURATION: 02 Hours 43 Minutes. 
  • DIRECTOR: Jeethu Joseph
  • GENRE: Investigative Thriller. 
  • STAR CAST: Mohanlal, Unni Mukudan, Saiju Kurup, Sshivada, Anusree, Anu Sithara, Anu Mohan, Rahul Madhav, Chandhunath, Leona Lishoy, Aditi Ravi, Priyanka Nair, Nandhu, Pradeep Chandran, Chali Pala and Siddique. 
  • PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Aashiravad Cinemas. 
  • STREAMING ON DISNEY+HOTSTAR 
  • MUSIC DIRECTOR: Anil Johnson. 
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY: Satheesh Kurup. 
  • EDITOR: V. S. Vinayak
  • DURATION: 163 MINUTES. 
  • PRODUCED BY: Antony Perumbavoor 

        REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R

What’s GOOD: 

  1. Mohanlal’s screen presence. 
  1. Creating curiosity to know the ultimate end. 
  1. Engaging Second Half 
  1. Good suspense and plot twist. 
  1. Making of Jeethu Joseph.
  1. Cinematography. 
  1. Transition in editing. 

What’s BAD: 

  1. The duration was lengthy. 
  1. Lack of good background score. 
  1. Lengthy dialogues. 
  1. Felt a lag in between. 
  1. Some confusion in between. 

Detail Explanation, REVIEW

Introduction and Storyline: The film 12th Man directed by Jeethu Joseph and written by Sunir Khetarpal and K. R. Krishna Kumar is all about the findings and unfolding of various truths. As we all know the teaming of Mohanlal and Jeethu Joseph had always produced the best suspense thriller in the name of the Drishyam franchise and the combo is now back with another murder mystery film. So I would say that the film 12th Man will give you a decent watch and a decent engaging film which will keep you guessing till the end. The plot of this film revolves around ten friends which consist of four couples and two singles, everyone maintains a deep friendship among themselves. Among them, Sidharth will get engaged to Aarathy and to celebrate his engagement all the friends will decide to have a party at a resort. During their stay, the character played by Mohanlal called Chandrashekar makes his appearance and during the night a murder will take place, so who gets killed, how the murder happened and what is the reason behind the murder is what the rest of the story is unfolding.  

Won Plus Factors: 

1: The first positive factor of this film is the making, the disciplined way of filmmaking by Jeethu Joseph made this watchable and interesting. Through his earlier movies, he had proved his skill in making suspense movies and he had followed the same pattern in this film also and it had worked out well for a one time watch. His direction and the way of making was having a strong foundation and till the end, without creating an off-balance. Also throughout the film, he carried the movie steadily with the right momentum and he made sure to give a convincing climax with some interesting twists. Also as a director how did Jeethu Joseph use the presence of Mohanlal needs special mention, Mohanlal’s one-man show was able to witness. The direction of Jeethu Joseph was intense because his making was possessed with the ability to hold our attention and mind. He was victorious in creating the technique to create assumptions while watching our minds will make assumptions from one suspect to another and this will be followed until the climax so the making of Jeethu Joseph will dominate us to think and make huge big guesses and sometimes theories too. 

2: The basic storyline of the movie was pretty good, it had the components to ensure that the plot was having the potential elements of a suspense movie associated with crimes and twists. The story kicks off with simple factors but eventually, the plot will start to reveal many complicated occurrences and the further events which lead the plot to the climax were written in a proper orderly manner. The events that are revealed in the plot are the surprising twist and turns and it was fitting for the ongoing situations. So the basic storyline, its following events and the ultimate climax with the twist were convincing for my viewing experience. 

3: I think the writer had done a wonderful job on making the screenplay, like I said above the story consists of numerous events and it is unexpectedly revealed one after another. All the situations in the film are happening in a closed area and that too on a single night, so the unfolding of events will happen suddenly. So how the writer had arranged these events and how he formulated these incidents as per the story was having the power to engage my viewing experience. Throughout the second half, the film is trying to reveal many truths and all the new findings by the central character were opening the door for thinking differently. While watching, the movie will monopolize us to make some huge wild guesses and at the time when we come across a conclusion, the movie and the script will offer some unexpected and unpredictable twist and turn, this was making my viewing experience delightful. If felt engaged throughout, and the screenplay plays a vital role in that, nothing felt overdramatic. 

4: The script is crammed with much suspense, especially in the second half so the second half had worked out more than the first half. The twists one after another and how they led to the climax will keep on hooking us, the mind of curiosity and thrill to know the actual truth was giving me excitement and I had enjoyed that moment till the end. I felt the climax was convincingly executed and the touch of Jeethu Joseph on making an unexpected climax had come out. I am not saying it is his best work but still, it is one of his finest works and the movie won’t disappoint anyone. 

Lost Factors: 

1: The lack of an effective background score was a major issue. During the revealing of the twist, the scenes were missing strong background tunes to create an extra impact. Also during the findings of the new truth, the scenes were not having the backup of a good background score. The given background felt just ok, wish it could have been tuned better. 

2: The first thirty to forty minutes of the movie take its desired time to establish the story but those areas felt dragged out. The drunken portion played by Mohanlal was holding my remote on not to skip. Also in the mid-second half in some areas due to the lengthy conversions and a slight lagging was felt. 

3: Also due to this same lengthy dialogue some sort of confusion was felt in between, some of the events and truth are revealed through the dialogue so if the mind gets diverted chances of creating confusion are plenty. So one had to closely watch the film carefully and should be aware of some lengthy dialogues. Also, the duration could have been a little bit shortened, the overall length of the movie was a little bit high. 

So What’s Hot?

1: Screen Presence of Mohanlal 

2: Unexpected Twist

4: Climax Suspense 

5: Making of Jeethu Joseph. 

6: Good Screenplay.

7: Interesting Second Half. 

So What’s Not?

1: Lengthy Dialogues 

2: Average First Half with lag 

3: Poor Background Score

4: Duration of the film 

Performance

The film 12th Man is set with the one-man show of Mohanlal, he was energetic and charming. His performance in the first half was filled with a touch of humour and the drunken behaviour and mannerism felt natural. The second half was strictly his startling performance, his way of investigation and how he found out the truth was stunning to watch. The dialogue delivery of Mohanlal was shining with the precise timing and the angry scenes were the best among the delivering of dialogues. His expression was strong and his eyes were keen and sharp to give the demanding looks. Unni Mukundan as Zakariah, Chandhunath as Jithesh, Saiju Kurup as Mathew and did a notable performance with good acting and did their part well. Rahul Madhav as Sam and Anu Mohan as Sidharth was ok but Leona Lishoy as Fida, Sshivada as Dr. Nayana and Priyanka Nair as Annie delivered a good emotional performance. 

What’s behind the film

The cinematography is by Satheesh Kurup and editing is done by V. S. Vinayakz. The cinematography by Satheesh Kurup was excellent, I loved the camera work. It had the best shots and the frames were marching to set the premise of the story. The visuals were captured according to the story and screenplay and the various events were shot authentically to give the impact of the story. The film is mostly happening indoors and all the indoor scenes were shot beautifully and felt like happening as per the plot. The lighting arrangements were accurate during the indoor scenes and also the night shots looked precise for various crucial scenes. The closeup shots used to capture the emotions of the characters were amazing. The fear on their face, their tensions, their secrets, their lies, their sentimental expression and the struggling face to hide the truth was captured correctly without any flaws. The editing was satisfying without giving any mismatches. The transition of the scenes from the flashback to the current happening of the investigation was superb. The colour-grading was also matching but the duration could have been trimmed a little shorter. 

Overall

So overall I enjoyed watching the film 12th Man, the suspense and the various plot was making my viewing experience interesting. The movie is surely engaging and will make you keep guessing till the end. The making of Jeethu Joseph was brilliant and it was linked with a good story and effective screenplay with the energetic performance of Mohanlal. The movie won’t disappoint anyone and I will recommend the film 12th Man to those who love to watch suspense movies. 

VERDICT: INTERESTING AND ENGAGING 

RATING: 3.5/5 

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