Marakkar Movie Review: Mohanlal-Priyadarshan combo fails to recreate magic
Set in the 15th century Kunjali Marakkar is the head of the naval forces of the Kerala Samoothiri and must defend his homeland from a Portuguese invasion.
Marakkar is arguably the most anticipated Malayalam movie in recent times after having been postponed and delayed multiple times due to the pandemic and it finally hit the big screen today, now the Mohanlal-Priyadarshan combo is iconic having delivered multiple hits throughout the years however in recent years that has not been the case and Markkar was set to change all that.
I went in with zero expectations as movies like this tend to rarely live up to the hype and this movie is no different and what a shame
Now I'll start with the positives, this movie has the highest budget of any Malayalam movie ever made and it shows here the movie has amazing production and set design on par with any other big-budget movie made in India, not to mention this is the first Malayalam movie of this scale and while CGI is not perfect it does hold its own as it is mixed with real sets which improve the experience, also some amazing performances from Mohanlal, Arjun Sarja, Prabhu, and the late Nedumudi Venu
At the end of the first half, I was pleasantly surprised while it did have a few pacing issues and the plot like previous Priyadarshan movies had been '' inspired by" other movies and in this case movies like Ben-Hur, Spartacus, Brave Heart, and Troy it was still solid and managed to walk a tight rope between being a period drama and a masala movie with the later part toned way down then I was expecting, now the plot was nothing original you could see who the good guys and bad guys were and who would turn out to be the traitor a mile away
The second halftoned down the pace to make way for 'character devolvement' and for the most part, it was dull except for the romance subplot between actress Keerthi Suresh as Aarcha and actor Jay J. Jakkrit as Chinali it was sweet and never overstayed its welcome and thankfully Mohanlal himself did not have any romantic subplot, one unintentionally funny scene was when the main bad guy he was a general or a viceroy it doesn't matter let's just call him evil white dude shows the movie actual played an Indian version the Darth Vader theme song from Star Wars, which shouldn't be surprising as until this point most of the BGM was "Inspired by" John Willaims
Scenes from the moves I previously mentioned are recreated in their entirety but is acted well at least and then the third and final act began or so I thought at the time started and the pace picked up the action scenes were ok and had this movie ended here I would have recommended watching this movie if you were in the mood as it was passable but no director Priyadarshan for some reason gave this movie multiple ending when I usually use this term it means that the director takes time to tie up loose ends now movies like Lord of the rings made this work and movies like the recent Kurup did not but that is not what happens here
Remember all those movies I mention before that inspired this movie? well director Priyadarshan goes out his way to recreate the endings of Troy, Spartacus, Brave Heart, Gladiator and not to make his fellow Indian directors feel left out Magadheera one after the other and it is truly baffling to watch and so I would not recommend you watch this movie and if you must wait till it eventually comes out on Amazon