“People living with us are more dangerous than animals in the wild. We can easily judge how dangerous an animal can be, but to do the same with humans is not easy.” This is a clichéd dialogue when people get betrayed, but when Mohanlal utters these words with his natural expressions, we feel for his character. This is the same with almost every other thing in Pulimurugan. We have seen movies with similar theme, but when presented in a different way, like in this movie, it doesn’t seem as boring.
The thing which is ‘different’ in Pulimurugan is the man v/s wild backdrop. The man-animal clash opens up a lot more possibilities for the story, and the makers have used it very well. In fact this theme is the core for majority of the well-choreographed action scenes.
Murugan belongs to Puliyoor, a village located in dense forest. The village gets its name due to frequent attacks from tigers (Puli) in the jungle. A young Murugan loses his father to one such attack, and he decides to kill the tiger. Thus, he becomes a wild hunter, and a savior of the villagers.
Years later, another tiger attack occurs, and this is when Mohanlal enters the scene. A truly mass intro is given to the legend, and he is brilliant in the action sequence. Action sequences such as these justify the Malayalam star’s ‘Complete Actor’ tag. He’s better than any other Malayalam actor in pulling off such action sequences, and he is 56 years old! Actors of his age no longer do such physically demanding scenes. They don’t even run properly and here Mohanlal is doing a 3 person push up! He’s brilliant throughout the movie, and even with the image of a fierce wild hunter, he manages to act as an innocent villager in other scenes with ease.
Rest of the cast manages to give adequate support. Telugu actor Jagapati Babu is the antagonist, and he is good enough as a rich looking villain. The child artist who acted as young Murugan deserves credit too. Kamalini Mukherjee has nothing much to do other than giving a pissed-off look. Kishore, Nandhu, Siddique, Makarand Deshpande and Bala are good in their roles. Lal manages a few comedy scenes with his usual ease. Vinu Mohan is not up to the mark and Suraj Venjaramoodu, after a couple of good performances, manages to irritate the audience with bad jokes. Actress Namitha is given a useless role.
Talking about the cast, a major issue that Malayalam cinema faces now is dubbing for non-Malayalam actors. This is clearly visible when it comes to Kamalini’s character. Surprisingly, Jagapati Babu has managed to lip his dialogues very well. Kamalini’s and Makarand’s role didn’t require any special talent, which makes us wonder why the makers signed them.
Story is just above average. It seemed more interesting at the interval break, but the second half in terms of story is very predictable. Murugan’s background is convincing enough and the way the story builds up is good. There are usual clichés like having unmarried daughters as an indication of the responsibilities of an ageing father. Overall the story is good considering the genre of the film.
Music, Camera and other Technical works
Music is very good and background score is brilliant. When Mohanlal’s name comes up in the title credits at the beginning, the BGM was outstanding. Camera work is great too, and the movie is filled with breathtaking shots of the dense jungle.
Stunts choreographed by renowned Peter Hein were simply outstanding. There are a few over-the-top scenes, but there’s nothing indigestible. This is a mass action film, and hence such sequences are expected. The action along with BGM gives a thrilling experience. The climax fight is the best one of the lot.
The graphics used for tiger is not perfect. There are a few scenes which exposes the imperfections. Given the budget of the film, which is less than what a few talent-less Bollywood actors ask as remuneration, perfection in graphics is too much to ask for anyway. This and the dubbing issues are the only technical negatives in the film.
Pulimurugan Review – Final Verdict!
It’s been a long time since Mohanlal acted in an action movie. And it’s been 15 years since a Mohanlal-Mammootty clash at the box office. Many such things generated a lot of hype and it seemed that Pulimurugan won’t be able to live up to the expectations. Well, the film will satisfy any cine-lover and it is perfect for Mohanlal fans. There are stunning visuals, brilliant action scenes, outstanding music, BGM and Mohanlal’s performance. This is for sure the best mass action thriller movie in Malayalam. A perfect mass action entertainer!