MANJUMMEL BOYS Review: A Not-To-Be-Missed Gripping Survival Thriller!

PUBLISHED DATE : 23/Feb/2024

MANJUMMEL BOYS Review: A Not-To-Be-Missed Gripping Survival Thriller!

MANJUMMEL BOYS Review: A Not-To-Be-Missed Gripping Survival Thriller!

Ashwin Ram


Premise:  A group of friends from Kerala take a trip to Kodaikanal. The enthusiastic youngsters are intrigued by the real Guna Caves which is actually a prohibited area. They all enter the restricted zone and one of them accidentally falls into a deep cave pit. The task for the excavation team begins.



Writing/ Direction: Begins as a quirky comedy, the staging is just on a decent level, thankfully it was done quickly, the tug-of-war portions are brilliantly foreshadowed for the payoff. The emotional setting could have been more impactful from the start as way-too-many characters are involved. It becomes flawlessly gripping  once the integral part of the story is reached, realistically approached yet also has everything to be a commercial cracker. The cross timeline intercuts are unarguably fascinating and adds immense depth to the friendship angle. The template is familiar, still it’s a beautifully written flick that logically justifies all the cinematic elements showcased. The suffocation is felt and hence we get to own the win, the tension it creates first and the high it gives at the end makes the community viewing paisa-vasool. The director’s vision to exhibit the cave-pit sequences in a brutal manner is the ultimate hooking factor. Offers a couple of unexpected jump scares and some whistle-worthy moments too. Has all the grandeur and visual aesthetics to provide an impeccable theatrical experience. The film could have ended five minutes early, the PTSD angle is just vaguely touched. Last but not the least, this is probably the best tribute to Kamal Haasan’s Gunaa, and the famous Kanmani song composed by Ilayaraja deserves all the love.


Performances:  The unknown artists from Malayalam instantly surprise with their cool attitude and unique presence, the wow factor is present here too. Mass should work irrespective of it done by an already known face and this film proves that the situation is the king. Two of the popular actors get more scope and they both have played it responsibly. No matter how many movies Soubin Shahir does, he’ll forever cherish living that innocent rooting man on-screen. Killer of a performance from Sreenath Bhasi, such a physically demanding role and he has done it by putting his heart and soul for the thick of the character.


Technicalities:  This is definitely one of the technically powerful Indian films of late. Outstanding background score especially during the intense sequences, raising our pulses to the peak point. Top-notch cinematography, he has shown the wide scenic beauty of Guna Caves and its stuffy dark pit in an equally spectacular manner, the ‘Avengers Assemble’ shot at the finale was a crowd-pleaser. Thoughtful editing, especially the cut-pattern in the second half is so commanding and helps to be a bridge between the past life and the current situation of the boys. Hats-off to the stunt choreographer, his courageous work is one of the primary reasons for us to be at the edge of our seats during the final forty minutes.


Verdict:  The arc is formulaic and there are some minor ifs and buts, yet when a team presents a film that excels in writing, acting and execution, it becomes a must-watch in the theatres. Thoroughly engrossing theatrical experience.


MANJUMMEL BOYS - A Not-To-Be-Missed Gripping Survival Thriller!

Rating - 3.5/ 5.

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