“Mariyam Mukku lets down all the high expectations; falls flat!”
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James Albert has an impressive CV. With two state awards to his credit, he is the man behind the script of the all-time Mollywood blockbuster Classmates and the widely acclaimed Evidam Swargamanu. Mariyam Mukku is his directoral debut.
There are a lot of negative reviews floating around for this movie on social media but I choose to differ here, for I'm also seeing undeservingly good reviews for Picket 43, perhaps an indication that the former hasn't worked well on its PR.
One thing you realize after the very first frame of Mariyam Mukku is that you're in for a pretty film. The frames are dunked in sepia and sunny browns and it gives the film, a trippy dreamy feel that is it so warming to see this picture in motion. More of prettiness overdose as Vidyasagar's song, Ee Kadalinu Kolu starts playing. All thanks to Gireesh Gangadharan for his breathtaking cinematography.
For people in the coastal village of Mariyam Mukku, life is an everyday ordeal. Maariyan (Manoj K Jayan), Felix's (Fahad Fasil) godfather and the village's local don, influences the trade in Mariyam Mukku with his bunch of airheaded cronies lead by Felix. Maariyan has fostered Felix ever since his father's death and Felix commits all sort of bad-assery blindly out of obligation for raising him. Love piques in the heart of bad guy Felix when Salomi (Sana Althaf) when he meets Salomi.
Fahad has put up an endearing performance as Felix and Sana did well for a debutante. There is good chemistry between them in the song Ee Kadalinu Kolu which could have been exploited further to intensify the drama however their relationship which forms the essence of the story hasn't been much explored much outside that song. The film falters towards the second half, with a predictable twist in plot that fails to impress and then kind of turns into a preachy parable with clear-cut good and bad and lowly etched new characters such as Lloyd Casper (Aju Varghese).
Almost all songs have a catchy beat and a vintage aura to it and the humour is good even though scarce. But somewhere the entire movie looks like a loose reworking of Lijo Jose Pellissery's widely acclaimed Amen. Mariyam Mukku may not feel fresh if you've watched Amen before, but it's technically sound, visually impeccable and a decent weekend watch.