Making movies on real-life incidents comes with a lot of risks. There's always a possibility of delivering a film that can leave the audience feeling unsatisfactory; if it is made too real, it might not quench your aesthetic sensibilities.
Jude Anthany Joseph's '2018: Everyone is a Hero' is a well-balanced film that will leave you satisfied, and keep you engaged till the end.
The story of grit and survival during the 2018 floods is a touching tribute to the superheroes of those times, especially the fisherfolk who worked tirelessly to keep Kerala afloat. The narrative is balanced as the intrigue, nail-biting tension and light moments of fun and laughter, have all been blended well in the movie.
Tovino plays Anoop, an Army deserter who is sometimes ridiculed by youngsters in his village for chickening out from military duties.
However, when the rising waters threaten to wash away the village, he becomes a hero.Just when we feel that the film could end up being a one-man show, the director smartly delivers a twist.
The technical aspects of the film are remarkable. The scenes have been recreated perfectly, without them seeming over the top. Many of the scenes are heart-wrenching, reminding you of the horror time we went through.
Though the movie focused mostly on the heroic deeds that had hogged the limelight then, I particularly liked how the filmmaker, didn't overlook the smaller aspects, that affected people during the flood. Like the leaking rooftop in the shelter camp that forces its residents to leave.
How an autism-affected young boy and his family hardly makes it through the worst night of their life is so poignant, that it reminds you of Jack and Rose's pain-staking efforts to stay alive in 'Titanic', one of the most epic movies to be made till date. Though I'm not trying to compare '2018' with the James Cameron film, in a way, I believe it is our Titanic, sans an epic love story.
It is also different, because '2018', aims at reminding people that they are all essentially the same. Your heart swells with pride in almost every scene as people get together, forgetting their differences, to work as one, making an impact, however small or big.
The performances by all the cast, including Asif Ali, Lal, Tanvi Ram, Narain, Aparna Balamurali, Vineeth Sreenivasan among others, are note-worthy. Indrans, as the visually-impaired small tea-shop owner, delivers a brilliant performance too. Tovino's boy-next-door image and the fact that he was a prominent face during the actual floods in 2018, makes you connect with the character, instantly.
Jude, in one of his recent interviews, said that he did not rely on graphics to depict the floods as he wanted to make the movie feel more realistic. His decision was apt as none of the scenes felt over-dramatic. The music and BGM by Nobin Paul also does justice to the movie.