Iblis Malayalam Movie Review
Reviewer : Chandra Mohan Gopintah
Rohith VS who previously made Adventures of Omanakuttan with Asif Ali as the title protagonist join hands with the same actor for his second film titled Iblis. The similarity between the two films ends there as Iblis, a romantic comedy is an experimental film set in an imaginary land with an imaginary concept. I should say the attempt here and its execution is pretty decent and satisfied me as a movie lover.
Again, its a little film that has blemishes but the thought process that went into making a film with such a concept and making that concept look convincing on screen is no mean task. It is here that Rohith as a film maker and that too just two films old, deserves to be appreciated.
Talking about the synopsis, all I would say is that Iblis is narrated as a fantasy film and it is set in a Utopian land where the dead and alive coexisted. That’s something interesting right. The film tells the romance between Vaisakhan, played by Asif Ali and Fida around that imaginary world. The story has a fairy tale touch to it which you would realize once you watch it. I cannot go beyond this line as anything more that I would write would act as spoiler.
As I mentioned, the movie adopt an experimental approach leaving no place for conventional entertainment elements though there are light-hearted moments and hilarious situations for the most part. So for those audience who look films from such an angle will not get the satisfaction you want after watching Iblis. It won’t be easy for those audience to accept and get adjusted to the story and settings of this film. My advise is accept the fact that its not a realistic film as the story-line is totally based out of fantasy. If you and your mind can re-tune and readjust to this reality, then it won’t be difficult to get accustomed to the premise of the film and the narrative.
Iblis is not your perfect film and it has flaws. There were areas that required more detailing and more attention. But the way in which this whole film is constructed using this magical realism concept is very much interesting. It become all the more praiseworthy when most of the situations barring a few have been convincingly presented. The film takes time to get into the skin of the story a bit late as the buildup is quite slow. Also the momentum is lost somewhere in the second half but all is well that ends well goes the saying. Yes after a brief portion of dullness in the middle stage, Iblis could regain the lost touch towards the end.
Vaisakhan was a character that had a very boyish look with innocence personified. He also has a confused mind when it comes to death and life. Asif Ali perfectly nailed that character with a smart portrayal of this role. Madonna Sebastian as Fida too was equally good. Look wise and acting wise Lal as Sarkeet Sreedharan was an apt choice. Siddhique was able to create some genuine laughs through those scenes referring the Jin story. Saiju Kurup, Sreenath Bhasi and Aadhish Praveen also were notable through their supporting acts.
Visuals were good and had an unconventional feel in it. Songs were quite good and the same goes for the background score too that had a different touch to it. Also the art and costumes department deserved praise for their share of contributions considering the fact that the whole film was set up in an imaginary world.
As a director, Rohith VS is showing promise. I couldn’t get a chance to watch his first film in theaters but got an opportunity later on and wondered why Adventures of Omanakuttan got a bad deal at the box office. It wasn’t a great film but deserved a better deal. Reiterating once again that this is an experimental movie and naturally not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you can brace yourself by making some compromises on the entertainment aspect in films, Iblis is worth taking a risk.