“Lilli” movie review: An impressive Malayalam thriller

Malayalam movie 'Lilli' starring Samyuktha Menon

Director Prasobh Vijayan’s Indian regional (Malayalam language) survival thriller “Lilli” is bloody, visceral, and unconventional, painting an unsurpassable power of women.

Starring Samyuktha Menon in the title character, “Lilli” is one of those movies which is pretty much clear from the beginning that it’s going to be violent. The film follows a pregnant lady who gets abducted by three men who want to know about the whereabouts of a girl. Her kidnapping and torture play in the central narrative.

The title of the film is apt as the flower “Lilli” symbolizes hope and faith as it blooms and grows in mud. The film towards the second half shows the backstory of the character Lilli, where she used to work as a prostitute and then led a normal life with her husband before she is driven by different situations to this ill-fated day.

While the script here is not that strong, the makers very wisely used their resources in creating an atmosphere where a character can emerge to the point of realism. While lately, we have watched many survival thrillers, including the likes of A Quite Place and Bird Box, we can justly say that even a film like “Lilli” flourishes in its given surroundings.

One of the finest aspects of this film is its acting by a very young actress Samyuktha, who is truly exceptional in every frame. To be honest, I don’t understand the original language, so followed the subtitle – hence it would be difficult for me to point out anything in the written dialogues and how efficiently she delivered those. Nevertheless, her expressions are fitting for each situation.

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Another thing for which this film might be interesting for many is the fact that Indian films are not in general visceral. While new-age filmmakers are now into more realistic films, “Lilli” would certainly be an example for the more marketable filmmakers.

While the script could have been more engaging and thrilling, with some great characterization, director Prasobh Vijayan has done a wonderful job. One thing which might not be pleasing for some and raise some questions is the reason for a parallel story alongside the primary plotline.

Nevertheless, the idea to experiment with something sort of human nature and to what extent one can go to emerge with the survival instinct makes it interesting. “Lilli” shines in bringing in a vulnerable yet powerful woman character.

‘Lilli’ Movie Details and Trailer

Starring: Samyuktha Menon, Aaryan Menon, Dhanesh Anand, Kannan Nayar, Sajin Cherukayil, Kevin Jose, Athulya.
Written and Directed By: Prasobh Vijayan
Release Date: 28 September 2018

Where to watch Lilli (2018)
A full-time movie geek and part time e-learning professional. He loves to read, write and discuss in length about cinema and the art of filmmaking.

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