12th Man review: Mohanlal and Jeethu Joesph's fourth movie manages to be an engaging whodunit


    12th Man

    Eleven friends find themselves suspects in a murder when one of them dies under mysterious circumstances

    Director :
    • Jeethu Joseph
    Cast :
    • Mohanlal,
    • Sshivada,
    • Unni Mukundan,
    • Anusree,
    • Saiju Kurup
    Genre :
    • Mystery
    Language :
    • Malayalam
    Platform :
    • Disney+ Hotstar
    12th Man review: Mohanlal and Jeethu Joesph's fourth movie manages to be an engaging whodunit
    Updated : May 20, 2022 04:54 PM IST

    The 12th man is a slow burn mystery movie that despite a few pacing issues manages to be an engaging watch and director Jeethu Joseph once again proves that he is a master of the genre.

    The plot of the movie follows 11 friends who go on a vacation together to celebrate the engagement of one of their friends. When one of them is found murdered, they soon become suspects and DYSP Chandrashekhar played by Mohanlal has to crack the case.

    Jeethu Joseph has said that like his previous works this movie has been inspired by the works of legendary mystery novelist Agatha Christe and the 12th man feels like a homage to her works like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.

    And like those books and their many movie adaptions, the 12th Man takes its time to set up the plot and the eventual big reveal. So if you are expecting something exciting to happen at every turn, this movie will disappointment.

    But if you like a primarily well-paced and well-directed mystery then this movie will more than satisfy you.

    The movie wears its inspiration on its sleeve and presents a group of people who despite their outward appearance each hold a dark secret, which the detective in this case Mohanlal has to solve.

    All the cast gives decent performances but the standouts have to be Unni Mukundan, Saiju Kurup, Anusree, and of course Mohanlal. It is good to see the actor getting a chance to showcase his skills after a long list of movies where he barely had much to do.

    From the technical standpoint, the camera work by Satheesh Kurup, who previously worked with Jeethu Joseph in Drishyam 2 , and the editing by V. S. Vinayak add a lot to the movie as they avoid a lot of the cliches of murder mystery movies and offer something fresh.

    However the music by Anil Johnson is at times, okay and other times just distracting, especially the main theme which plays every time something major happens and stands out in a bad way and this main theme is clearly "inspired" by the theme song of an iconic British spy.

    As I mentioned before the biggest issue with the movie is its at times dull pacing as the writer K. R. Krishna Kumar clearly at times is trying to keep the audience guessing which only ended by increasing the movie runtime to 163 minutes without the need for it.

    So the 12th Man doesn't hold up to the level as the director's previous works but is overall all a good mystery movie and something you won't regret checking out.

    The movie is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar .