Starring: Tovino Thomas, Lal, Narain, Aparna Balamurali, Kalayirasan, Aju Varghese, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Kunchacko Boban, and others
Director: Jude Anthany Joseph
Producers: Venu Kunnappilly, CK Padma Kumar, and Anto Joseph
Music Director: Nobin Paul
The recently released Malayalam film “2018,” featuring Tovino Thomas in the lead role, has made a significant impact at the global box office. With the Telugu version now hitting the screens, let’s delve into our review to discover how the film fares.
“2018” revolves around Anup (Tovino Thomas), a former soldier who leaves the army due to his fear of death. The narrative also follows Mathachan (Lal) and his son Winston (Narain), who make a living through fishing, Koshy (Aju Varghese), a taxi driver for tourists, Ramesh (Vineeth Sreenivasan), an IT employee in Dubai facing relationship troubles, and Sethupathi (Kalayirasan) from Tamil Nadu, who agrees to transport explosives to Kerala as a truck driver. Set against the backdrop of the devastating floods that struck Kerala in 2018, the film explores the struggles faced by these protagonists and the impact of the crisis on the people of Kerala. How did they survive this massive disaster? The movie holds all the answers.
“2018” is a rare film that deeply engages viewers and takes them on an emotional journey with its well-crafted characters. The story, while simple without major twists, excels in its characterizations and narrative.
Director Jude Anthany Joseph presents a heart-touching storyline. Although some viewers may find the characters confusing in the first half, the director’s intentions become clear as the second half progresses. The storytelling is engrossing, and the portrayal of emotions is heartwarming, forging a deep connection between the audience and the events on screen.
Tovino Thomas deserves praise for accepting a role that is not the typical protagonist, yet he shines throughout the movie. His character arc, from a man fearing death to a brave individual who fights against all odds to save others, is well-designed. Lal, portraying Mathachan, delivers an outstanding performance as a fisherman who takes significant steps to help thousands of people survive the devastating floods. Narain and Kalayirasan also leave a lasting impression with their strong performances, while the rest of the cast admirably fulfills their respective roles.
Apart from the story, the film’s remarkable cinematography and extraordinary background score create a tense atmosphere, particularly in the second half. These technical aspects significantly contribute to the overall impact of the film, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.
While “2018” succeeds in promoting humanity, it falls short in showcasing the role of the government and the media during the 2018 Kerala floods. The director missed an opportunity to highlight the contributions of these entities in addressing the crisis.
Aparna Balamurali, a well-known face in the film, disappointingly has limited screen presence. The director should have provided her character with more substantial involvement to fully utilize her talent.
The first half of the movie may confuse viewers as the focus is predominantly on the characters and their personal issues, rather than emphasizing the main plot. Additionally, certain characters like Tanvi Ram and Gauthami Nair lack significant impact on the overall storyline, leaving viewers unsatisfied. However, the film’s overwhelming emotions manage to overshadow these flaws, keeping viewers engaged.
The director could have added suspense to the story by incorporating more scenes related to the damage inflicted on the dam.
Overall, while “2018” has its share of drawbacks, including limited government and media portrayal, underutilization of Aparna Balamurali, and a slightly confusing first half, these shortcomings are overshadowed by the film’s captivating emotions that hold viewers’ attention.