Lilli Review: A gripping film that’s first of its kind in Malayalam cinema
Debutant Prasobh Vijayan’s Lilli has hit screens today. Prior to the release, the makers managed to create a buzz in social medias with their impressive posters and trailer. The movie marks the arrival of a bunch of newcomers, both in the cast and crew. Let’s see how their maiden work has turned out to be.
Lilli is basically a survival thriller centred around a pregnant woman and a gang of kidnappers. The woman is held captive in a dingy building in the city outskirts. Whether she manages to escape from them is the crux of the plot. Anything more will end up as spoilers, so let’s not go further.
First things first, Lilli is not a pleasant watch at all. It is a gripping survival story of a heavily pregnant woman. This woman is willing to go to any extent to protect herself and her child. She is a fierce fighter who is unwilling to go down come what may. The circumstances she has lived in has moulded her that way and hence her actions are convincing.
Samyuktha Menon in the titular role has delivered an emphatic performance. Lilli is diametrically opposite to the eye-candy and lovable Devi of ‘Theevandi’. This role of a heavily pregnant woman must have taken a toll on her, both physically and mentally. It was literally hard to sit through the movie watching her going through all the pain and suffering. And, Samyuktha’s earnest performance is the prime reason for that.
The next best performer is Dhanesh Anand, who plays the role of Rajesh. Among the three kidnappers, he is the most hateful. As a creepy debaucher, the debutant has done full justice to his part. Kannan Nayar, Aaryan Krishnan Menon, Kevin Jose and Sajin Cherukayil have also played their roles well.
Along with the writing, Lilli also depends heavily on the technical aspects to create an eerie atmosphere and thereby force the audience to feel the tension. Sreeraj Raveendran’s cinematography is impressive with his unusual patterns of lighting. The different shades of green and red are striking and are used in apt moments. The total soundscape of the movie is spooky and Sushin Shyam is once again splendid with the background score. Some metaphors have also been included smartly and the open-ended climax tells a lot about the debutant director’s conviction in his work.
Overall, Lilli is a scary and disturbing film that is a first of its kind in Malayalam. A bunch of youngsters have successfully proved that you don’t need ghosts and jump-scares to invoke fear. Lilli deserves a watch in a proper theatrical ambience for films like these are a rarity here.