Producer- Antony Perumbavoor
Cast- Mohanlal, Kaniha, Shankar Ramakrishnan, Madhu, Nandu, Kalpana, Thilakan etc.
Music- Shahbaz Aman
Review By : Unni R Nair/ Kerala9.com
Am I confused? Yes indeed. How I wish I needn’t do a review or give a verdict. It’s not an easy job. I wish people stop asking opinions; just see films, like them or dislike them and go back home carrying the memories, good or bad…
Ranjith’s latest film ‘Spirit’ is a film that I wouldn’t like to review or give a verdict about. I’d prefer to see it, think about it, re-visit it if needed and not give out opinions or verdicts. If you ask me whether I liked the movie or not, my answer would be in the affirmative. If you ask me whether the film was really that good, captivating and worth it, I would be a bit confused.
‘Spirit’, I’d say is a good film. It no doubt is a good film. From a critic’s point of view, there may be flaws. It may seem less cinematic compared to Ranjith’s other films; there could be an opinion that he could have given some more time for the script to evolve into a better one; you’d say that Ranjith, in ‘Spirit’, becomes more of a preacher/reformer than a director; you may say that there is too much of boozing and hence a lag; you’d say that given Ranjith’s talent and versatility, the story and the film could have been better handled…you could find out many such flaws or minuses. But for me, I’d prefer to dwell on the pluses because the issue that the film seeks to address is real relevant and it’s a film that should be promoted, in many respects.
‘Spirit’ tells the story of Raghunandan (Mohanlal), who had been working in a bank abroad earlier and who has been donning many roles- that of a journalist, that of a television anchor and that of a writer. He is divorced from his wife Meera (Kaniha), who is now happily married to Alexy (Shankar Ramakrishnan). Raghu has a son, who lives with Meera and Alexy and Raghu has Meera and Alexy as his close friends. Raghu also hosts a very popular television chat show ‘Show the Spirit’ and just blasts whoever comes before him, with his power of argument and the evidences that he always manage to get through extensive research. But the other side of it all is that he is terribly addicted to booze and can’t live without it. He just gobbles bottle after bottle of the most expensive of brands. As Meera openly says, Raghu is a bad father while Alexy proves a good father to Raghu’s son; he is also inconsiderate at times, though he is an efficient guy. Anyway, things are not destined to go on like that; there has to be a change. That change starts taking place in Raghu’s life and then on, he starts observing Maniyan (Nandu), a plumber whom he is forced to follow.
Well, that’s what forms the plot. The film gains relevance as it discusses, in as realistic a manner as possible and at the same time remaining within the structure of popular cinema, a menace that has gripped the Kerala society in recent times. There are instances where you may feel that you are not watching a Ranjith film, but do we need to be so prejudiced? I feel that this is a well-intentioned film and hence we got to watch it. And given that it’s a subject that may not seem appealing, it demands great skill packaging it in a way that it appeals to all. Ranjith has done it excellently well. Thanks Ranjith for making this film.
Mohanlal comes off with a clean performance; he is good as Raghunandan. Nandu simply excels as Maniyan, this character would do great to his career. Shankar Ramakrishnan, director-turned-actor makes an impressive acting debut while Kaniha too is good. Thilakan doesn’t have much to do, but he is good. Tiny Tom impresses. Lena seems to be going great these days, she does a good job as Supriya Raghavan IPS while Siddharth and Kalpana too do justice to their roles.
As usual, Ranjith has come up with a film that has some good technicians teaming up. The film is well-made, thanks to the support by the technical team.
Music by Shahbaz Aman is good; the songs have an appeal, but don’t expect something like “Ee puzhayum…”.
The way Ranjith has woven the whole thing around the issue that he wanted to discuss is what wins our appreciation. He deserves to be appreciated for brilliant characterisation as well.
Good work. I won’t endeavour to compare ‘Spirit’ with the recent other films of Ranjith, I would want to rate it separate and so I’d say, well done, Ranjith.
Verdict: Well-intentioned, good work. Must watch!!