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Malaikottai Valiban Movie Review: A wandering legendary fighter's travels through villages

Modified On: 25 January 2024 | Reviewed By:

Malaikottai Valiban Storyline: Inspired by Gulliver’s Travels, this period fantasy film sees Mohanlal plays Malaikottai Vaaliban, an ageing fighter or warrior, who wanders from village to village, taking part in fights and winning accolades.

Malaikottai Vaaliban

Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery | Music Director: Prashant Pillai

Malaikottai Vaaliban Movie Poster

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In a village he halts overnight, there’s a folk dance performance by beautiful Rangapattinam Rangarani (Sonalee Kulkarni). While a potential romance erupts with Rangarani, he gets into an argument with Chamathakan (Danish Sait) over her and Chamathakan then challenges him to a fight in his village, Mangodu.

Malaikottai Vaaliban wins the fight at Mangodu and moves on with his travels to Ambathur fortress. However, Chamathakan, who is psychotic, vengeful and seething after the loss, follows him to seek revenge. What happens next during the course of Malaikottai Vaaliban’s travels?

Review: Lijo Jose Pellishery's Malaikottai Vaaliban is a mixed bag of swift and interesting action scenes, epic frames, peppy songs . The film features Mohanlal in the titular character, and his performance is praised for matching the energy and mystery behind the role. Katha Nandi as Jamanthi and Sonalee Kulkarni as Rangapattinam Rangarani are also praised for their performances.

The first half of the film is characterised by vigor and valor, but it experiences some lag in certain parts, possibly reflecting the slow-paced life of nomads. The cinematography by Madhu Neelakandan is highlighted as phenomenal, with monumental frames.

The second half of the film is fun to watch, despite being a little all over the place. Standout moments include a long battle scene that keeps the fun quotient high. The characters that the protagonist encounters throughout the journey are bizarre, adding to the film's epicness. The music by Prashanth Pillai is acknowledged for its lively and sedate moments.

The awe-inspiring shots are appreciated and the art directors are praised for contributing to the film's epicness. The costumes are interesting and consistent. As the story progresses, the film explores emotional turmoil, delving into themes of jealousy, misunderstandings, and obsessiveness. While the basic story line, when you take Valiban out of the equation isn't very original or even well defined, there are very interesting elements adding layers to it. The film has Lijo's name written all over it.

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