“Lucifer”… A high-minded political actioner that’s content with low-hanging fruit

Posted on March 31, 2019

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/lucifer-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-mohanlal-prithviraj/

Prithviraj Sukumaran’s directorial debut is named Lucifer, and he’s not kidding about that title. Murali Gopy’s hugely ambitious script takes its cues from the Bible itself: Mohanlal plays Stephen Nedumpally, who is first seen in a church, and for a while, is dressed in all-white. Trust me, I wish I didn’t know this, but even his undies are white — we get a flash every time he halves his mundu and raises a leg to kick a goon in slo-mo. By the end, though, he is all black, head to toe. Like the Biblical Lucifer, he is a fallen angel, though not broken. He rises again. I was reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous couplet that hinted at Satan’s resilience: For Lucifer, that old athlete / Tho’ flung from Heaven falls on his feet.

Can a movie get more high-minded? Yes, it can. When it quotes Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and when it opens with another Emerson quote: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.” And in the opening scenes, a king does indeed lie dead. He’s PK Ramdas (Sachin Khedekar), leader of IUF (Indian Union Front) and the “Bhishma of Kerala politics”. There are more nods to the Hindu pantheon: Parvati and Ganesha. Then, we’re back to the Bible, with dialogues referencing Galilee and Barabbas and even calling the “Saviour” of IUF as “Daivaputhran”. He’s Jithin, a Rahul Gandhi-like character, and he’s played by a very charming Tovino Thomas. (The actor made me wish he had a bigger role, more screen time with his “chettan” Stephen.)

Continued at the link above.

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