The Real Kerala Story
U/A, 2h 15m
What Is the Film About?
2018 is a human drama set against the backdrop of the deadly floods in Kerala in the said year. The story explores how people from different walks of life turn into unexpected heroes in a natural calamity.
The biggest highlight of 2018 is the presence of multiple well-known faces in small but important roles throughout.
Obviously, Tovino Thomas comes across as the ‘hero’ and is the biggest name of them, but even he plays a role that fits into the narrative and doesn’t do or isn’t made to do anything outside of what the story allows. So, he has his moments and definitely registers, but at the end of the day, his is another part, and that’s it.
Kunchacko Boban and Vineeth Srinivasan are other instantly striking faces, but they are unexplored. Given their fame, one expects more from them, but they are used only according to the requirement.
Asif Ali has a more notable role compared to others. It also gets a good closure towards the final moments, making it register a notch higher than others mentioned above.
Despite having less screen time, Kaliayarasan shines in a decent role, mainly due to the characterisation and treatment within the given plot. Lal is reliable as usual and instantly registers with his confidence and commanding presence. Aparna Balamurali feels lost after a good beginning. The rest of the actors are alright in the limited role they get.
Jude Anthany Joseph directs 2018. It is a disaster genre cum survival thriller flick exploring the human drama in calamity. It comes with the caption ‘Everyone is a hero,’ highlighting the central theme.
2018 takes time to get going, which is evening within the first half an hour. The director introduces us to multiple short tracks with known faces heading each storywise. Usually, it would have been dull, but the presence of the actors and the imminent danger looming large over them creates a curiosity concerning their future.
The individual tracks are then filled with regular content like a love story between an ex-military officer and a teacher, a rich girl poor boy story, a husband trying to meet his estranged wife, etc. Every short story within the larger story is a predictable one. But, all of them coming under the larger flood threat holds it all together.
The tension within the various tracks is slowly built, in typical Malayalam drama movie style, and they reach a crescendo around the interval mark. The real thrill unfolds in the second half when nature strikes, and the various characters are caught off guard in their routine.
The survival drama is grippingly executed in the second half. Each character faces a situation, and how they come out is told engagingly. The good thing here is that the narrative is tried to keep as realistic as possible without going too much overboard. So, there are elevations, but they appear normal rather than heroic in the ‘cinematic’ sense of the word. The rescue involving Tomivo, for example, is alright and has all the ingredients of a star, but it is still kept as grounded as possible.
The various threads have a neat emotional closure. However, after a point, despite the best efforts as actors and in execution, things do turn out to be a little predictable or somewhat formulaic. It has more to do with the genre and isn’t much of a problem beyond the initial reaction. The emotions and music do the trick in not letting things slip.
Overall, 2018 is a well-executed survival drama featuring a host of known faces. Everyone chips in, but none try to overpower the narrative or theme. It makes for a pleasant and emotionally engaging one-time watch experience. Give it a try if you like to see something different with good execution.
Music and Other Departments?
A couple of songs are in the movie, and they are alright. However, it is the background score by Nobin Paul that registers. It is neatly done and binds the whole narrative together. Technically the movie is strong, with neat cinematography and tight editing. Chaman Chakko keeps the narrative clean and doesn’t let it slip into messiness which could easily be the case with so many people and the setting. The visual effects are fine, giving a big-budget feel during the flood sequences.
Parts Of The First Half
Some Unfinished Characters
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
2018 Telugu Movie Review by Mirchi9