‘Exit’ movie: Vishak Nair plays career-defining role in this bold, survival thriller | Review

Vishak Nair plays a man who has been chained to a room inside an isolated home for over 20 years. Photos | Imdb

Malayalam cinema’s tryst with creative, experimental cinema, continues. The latest to hit the screens is Mohammed Shaheen’s film ‘Exit’, featuring Ashlin Joseph, Vishak Nair and Hareesh Peradi in lead roles. The low-budget film features a group of boys who end up in a haunted house in the middle of nowhere.

Though the setting may sound familiar, the film offers a unique experience and introduces viewers to a less-often explored genre in Malayalam cinema. Akhi, Massia, Anzad, Midhun are friends and often play cricket together. Akhi, who is often harassed by a money lender, decides to take a different route to his home to avoid meeting the man. However, this takes him and his friends to a haunted mansion, inhabited by a youth who has been shackled for over 20 years.

The film explores cannibalism, a theme that has been part of Hollywood horror films for decades. Though Mollywood and other Indian film industries have churned out numerous horror-themed films, a movie explicitly exploring cannibalism is hard to come by. What happens when a human being is chained to a room for several years? How does he react? Does his meeting with the four boys unlock something terrifying in him?

This is what forms the crux of Mohammed Shaheen ’s debut film. Despite the high quotients of violence, it does not overpower you. For someone who is new to filmmaking, it is interesting to note how the characters and situations are safe in his hands. The filmmaker’s story, flounders, only at the scene prior to the climax, but he manages to keep the film exciting for us, allowing each scene to flow with ease.

Tamil actor Sree Raam, who is best known for his work in ‘Goli Soda’, has put up a brilliant performance as Akhi in the film. The actor’s apt portrayal of a troubled young man is praise worthy. The other actors too enact their roles well. However, it is ‘Aanandam’ fame Vishak Nair who truly deserves a pat in the back for his outstanding performance in the film. His hand movements and facial expressions are commendable. Though not everyone’s cup of tea, the film is a must watch for its unique content and the performances of the actors.

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