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Manjummel Boys movie poster

Manjummel Boys Movie Review

Malayalam

Comedy
Drama

Rating

8.7/10

Rating

8.7/10

Manjummel Boys Movie Review: Sreenath-Soubin Shahir's survival thriller is heart-thumping tale that exemplifies friendship

Planning to watch Sreenath Bhasi and Soubin Shahir starrer Manjummel Boys in theaters? Read Pinkvilla’s review of the survival thriller flick for insights!

Updated on Feb 22, 2024   |  02:19 PM IST  |  570K
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Manjummel Boys Review: Sreenath Bhasi’s survival flick is a masterful ode to friendships

Manjummel Boys Movie Review: Sreenath-Soubin Shahir's survival thriller is heart-thumping tale that exemplifies friendship (PC. Soubin Shahir Instagram)

Name: Manjummel Boys

Rating: 4

Manjummel Boys, the latest survival thriller flick helmed by Chidambaram of Jan.E.Man fame, has been one of the most talked about films in recent times. In fact, in an earlier interview, the film’s music director Sushin Shyam had mentioned that Manjummel Boys will be a milestone for the Malayalam film industry. The film, which features Balu Varghese, Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, and Jean Paul Lal among others has just hit the theaters. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s discuss it!

Plot of Manjummel Boys

Manjummel Boys is based on the true story of a group of 11 friends who plan a trip to Kodaikanal in 2006. The young group visit various places in the hill station, and finally head to the Guna Caves (made popular by Kamal Haasan’s 1991 film Guna), before they head back home. However, the youngbloods enter a restricted area, where one of them falls into a gorge, named the Devil’s Kitchen. Historically, anyone who has fallen into the gorge has never been able to come out alive. How they plan and rescue their friend with the help of the Government officials forms the crux of the story.

What works in Manjummel Boys

The first thing that catches one’s eye while watching Manjummel Boys is the cinematography by Shyju Khalid. The ace cinematographer has successfully brought the serene beauty of Kodaikanal to the silver screens, and seamlessly merges it with a poignant tone that goes well with the film’s theme. What goes with the cinematography is the film’s color grading which mostly uses colder themes, that adds to the film’s aesthetic. 

The music director Sushin Shyam has done an absolutely terrific job and elevated the film to a different league. The music acts as a medium of communication, talking about what goes through the characters’ minds, and Sushin has conveyed that perfectly. Nowhere does it feel like the music was overshadowing the visuals, or vice versa. In an earlier interview, the music director mentioned that an entirely new instrument was created for this film, and that seems to have paid off as well. The eerie music sends shivers down one’s spine, adding to the uneasiness that the film aims to communicate. 

Chidambaram’s masterful storyteller also deserves special praise. The writer-director has brought to screen only what is necessary, and nothing more. The film does not waste a single second, and each scene adds something new to the film. Chidambaram also talks not just about the material aspect, but also the psychological impacts, which he has cleverly shown in the film, avoiding the cliches. Additionally, he has also been able to bring about the chemistry of a real-life friend group, into the reels - they are jovial most of the time, messing around with each other, but when the time comes, they are as thick as a brick. More than anything else, there are no protagonists in the group. All 11 members are equally important. 

At the end of the film, one cannot help but look back at Chidambaram’s previous film, Jan.E.Man, which was a dark comedy. Manjummel Boys takes the opposite route and is a serious thriller through and through. In fact, the film even borders on horror, and is sure to make the audiences feel uneasy at some points. 

The editor Vivek Harshan, production designer Ajayan Chalissery, the sound and VFX departments, everyone has come together and executed what is required of them to perfection. The makers’ clever use of references from the Kamal Haasan film also demands praise. The clever writing behind taking lines from Guna, and using it in a totally different context, yet still making perfect sense deserves recognition.

Check out the film’s trailer below:

What does not work in Manjummel Boys

One has to nitpick to find fault in a film like Manjummel Boys. The film is without a doubt one of the top films to come out so far in 2024. However, taking the film as the film alone, there is a possibility that one feels the second half is a bit cliched, having scenes that have already been shown before in other survival thrillers like Tovino Thomas’ 2018 or Fahadh Faasil’s Malayankunju. Nonetheless, that is only when the film is taken as the film alone. When it is taken into consideration that the film is based on a true story, and is essentially telling the story of exactly what perspired, it makes sense why the makers chose what they did.  

The performances in Manjummel Boys

As mentioned earlier, there are no protagonists in Manjummel Boys. The film tells the story of 11 friends, with all of them being equally important, and having a prominent role to play in the film. While Soubin Shahir and Sreenath Bhasi have the space to shine through, other actors like Jean Paul Lal, Chandu Salimkumar, Balu Varghese, Khalid Rahman, Ganapathi S Poduval, Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Deepak Parambol, and more have executed their roles to perfection. Chandu Salim Kumar’s character deserves a special mention as well, pulling off one of the most intricate characters in the film with effortless ease.

Verdict of Manjummel Boys

Undeniably, Manjummel Boys is one of the finest additions to Malayalam survival thriller films. The film demands a theater watch with the best sound quality for the best experience, and is sure to leave the audience shook. The film ropes in the viewers, and takes them on a journey with the 11 friends to Kodaikanal, showing the ups and downs in their journey convincingly. 

Manjummel Boys promises to bring, hold, and leave the audience at the edge of their seats, with their hearts beating heavily against their chest. Oh, and Sushin Shyam was right. Manjummel will definitely be a milestone in Malayalam cinema.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate in Economics, with heart made of cinema, Devasankar is vividly in love with world cinema! A true believer of the phrase cinema has no bo...

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Credits: Pinkvilla

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