Spirit (2012- Malayalam) – Review

In one of those truly rare occurrences, I went fMohanlal Madhu Thilakan Ranjith Spirit 2012 or the first day show of a movie. A malayalam movie I have been waiting to watch in awe of four mesmerising talents: Actors Thilakan, Madhu and Mohanlal, and Writer-Director Ranjith, and more importantly their team – SPIRIT.

I must say that I felt the movie lived up to its name in more than one sense. It was a spirited experience as it played last night but when I woke up this morning I had this familiar feeling of ‘What the hell was it last night!’ I am not saying the movie was not good. I stick to my stand that it was VERY GOOD (for an average team) but for what you expect out of this talent- combination, I am afraid it could have fallen a bit short of the mark.

Like always, the good things first. Excellent choice of subject by Renjith. Alcoholism is indeed staring at the Kerala society with a threat of drowning the entire state sooner or later. Brilliant, near-perfect performance by ALL actors. Special mention for the lead cast Mohanlal, Thilakan, Madhu, Kanniha, Shanker Ramakrishnan, Nandu, Kalpana and others. Quite captivating tempo and sequence of scenes and melodious music.

Now moving on to where I felt there were some gaps. When a senior director like Renjith who has an impeccable record of delivering successes takes up a very pertinent issue like alcoholism in Spirit, we expect him to cover the issue very comprehensively and in-depth, striking the menace on its head. However the representation of alcoholism in Spirit is majorly restricted to the lives of two individuals and their friends/families- the affluent Raghunandan and the impoverished plumber Manian. The issue of alcoholism unfortunately is much much beyond such cases, especially with the late teenagers and young working adults. It is unlikely that younger people will abandon drinking like the protagonist but it would have certainly driven home a more powerful message to the ‘upcoming’ community of alcoholics if Renjith had used this movie as the platform to do so. After all who wouldn’t mind giving up such habits and weaknesses at 50 or 60? 😉

Also, the touch-and-go coverage of sports drug usage and other forms of intoxication at high-school and colleges seemed quite like the haste of an amateur film maker to widen the breadth of social issues compromising on their depth.

Thilakan is a supremely powerful character actor and his return to mainstream cinema was one of the most anticipated events in recent past. However I strongly feel that the role of Maestri in Spirit does not meet the thirst of a master actor that he is. Sadly, in spite of a brilliant performance by Thilakan the character still seemed like an addendum in the end.


On the whole, Spirit (like what it stands for) is an enjoyable experience and definitely worth tasting at least once. So go for it with an appetite for a good show of spirit and of course our own Lalettan’s amazing performance! 🙂



Other reviews for the same movie (with the plot):







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