The Malayalam-language thriller ‘Virus’ is based on real events during the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in the tiny south Indian state of Kerala that claimed 17 lives. The story is primarily set in the city of Kozhikode, where the first case was reported.
Directed by Aashiq Abu (known for films like Salt N’ Pepper, 22 Female Kottayam, and Maheshinte Prathikaaram) ‘Virus’ is a gripping and emotional tale of a community that comes together to fight the battle and win. The film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video (India).
‘Virus’ – Movie Trailer
Considering the fact that the film is based on real-life characters and events, the makers have made sure that the storyline has enough details about individuals, their sacrifices, and the medical and administrative challenges the state confronts in such trying times.
Each key character, from the nurse who writes a dying wish for her child to the critical patients, the doctors in service, and the administrative officials to the ambulance driver, is very nicely sketched. Both the characters and the story draw our imagination and emotion.
‘Virus’ – Documenting Fear, Fight & Survival
The film in every way tries to show the world the gravity of such a deadly outbreak, and the need for the community to come together to fight this out. ‘Virus’ documents individual sacrifice and the willingness or kindness of many who come forward to help healthcare professionals.
In the film, on one hand, we see how people work tirelessly to identify those infected by this epidemic and at the same time, the fear and anxiety of others amid a series of death in the town.
There are many emotional scenes, including the one in which nurse Akhila, after getting infected with the virus from another patient, is rushed into an emergency but she is aware of the situation and asks to be intubated.
People who know the real-life story can very well remember the nurse Lini Puthussery, who died treating the first victim of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala.
‘Virus’ is definitely all about the human spirit, hope, sacrifice, and the sole mission to identify the root cause and containing the virus from spreading further.
The film, however, shows a thing or two that could possibly happen while dealing with such an epidemic. These include the political spin, as some started thinking about the possibility of terror elements using a biological weapon, and also the paranoia and distress among the public without adequate information.
Nevertheless, ‘Virus’ is in memory of those brave women and men in Kerala who stood up against adversity and risk their lives to save their community. It is also a reminder for all of us how important it is to stay together and stand strong to deal with any such disaster.
Lastly, we must mention that the film is brilliantly acted by an ensemble cast, including many known faces in the Malayalam cinema. It is great that many actors come together for this project even though they have small roles to play. Indeed, this unbelievable story ought to be told to everyone.
Director: Aashiq Abu
Genres: Suspense, Science Fiction
Written By: Muhsin Parari, Sharafu, Suhas
Starring: Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Indrajith Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Soubin Shahir, Poornima Indrajith, Sreenath Bhasi, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan, Joju George, Dileesh Pothan, Senthil Krishna, Rahman, Revathy, AshaKelunni, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Indrans, MadonnaSebastian.
Meanwhile, as per a recent news report – the deadly Nipah virus resurfaced in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. A 23-year student tested positive, but as per the latest updates, he has now been discharged from the hospital. The state govt. has declared Ernakulam district Nipah virus free.
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