2018 Review: A fitting tribute to Kerala’s real heroes
When Jude Anthany Joseph first announced a film on the devastating Kerala floods of 2018, many thought it would be just another film to milk a tragedy. How wrong were they? After battling numerous obstacles enroute, Jude and his team have delivered a film that’s on par with any international survival thriller. Any Malayali who watches the film will have a hard time controlling the tears. That’s the kind of emotional connect this film achieves.
Jude and his co-writer Akhil P Dharmajan have conceived this film as a tribute to all Keralites, especially the fishermen community who were played a major part in the rescue operations. Though it’s a hyperlink narrative with several characters, the writing is simple (at times forumlaic) and easily understandable to the layman. The focus is more on the making, and the team has done an extraordinary job with that. With Malayalam cinema’s budget constraints, it’s unbelievable how the makers have pulled off such an output. Production designer Mohandas, cinematographer Akhil George, editor Chaman Chacko, composer Noble Paul and each and every crew member deserves a loud round of applause for their incredible efforts.
On the performance side, it’s Tovino Thomas who gets the most prominent character. His arc from an army man, who runs away from service, becoming a local hero during a crisis situation works wonderfully well. Asif Ali also gets a similar transformative arc. The best of intros and whistelworthy scenes are reserved for Lal and Narian though. They represent the fishermen community, and the opening they get is one of the most heroic ever in Malayalam cinema. There are also a few other subtracks involving Kunchacko Boban, Vineeth Sreenivaan, Aparna Balamurali and Kalaiyarasan. Another brilliant track features an outstanding Sudheesh and Gilu Joseph, who fight hard for survival in a flooded house. It’s one of the most tense portions in the film, and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
When films intended to spread hatred against Kerala and its people masquerade as ‘Kerala Story’, ‘2018’ emerges as the Real Kerala Story that celebrates the spirit of oneness and brotherhood among Keralites from different walks of life. It’s not about hate, it’s about hope.
Direction - 9/10
Artist Performance - 9/10
Script - 8/10
Technical Side - 9/10