'Perumani': While Vinay Forrt and Lukman deliver, the film's message takes its time to come across | Movie Review

Perumani posters. Photo: IMDb

In the fantastical land of Perumani, a native community worships a mythical figure. Tensions rise when a visitor from North India, whom they call 'bhai', arrives, triggering a belief among some villagers that he possesses divine powers. Directed by Maju and featuring Vinay Forrt, Sunny Wayne, and Lukman, 'Perumani' explores this intriguing tale.

The movie excels in execution and performance, with all actors delivering their roles admirably. It bears a resemblance to 'Kunjiramayanam' due to its village setting and humorous villagers, which adds charm. However, its pacing occasionally falters, and the movie doesn't fully realise its intended impact. With a folktale-like quality, the film locks viewers in a storybook atmosphere, with characters exhibiting animated traits. Despite a flurry of events, the story primarily revolves around the division of the village into two factions: those who believe in the 'bhai' and those who do not. Essentially a satire, the movie critiques conservative religious systems and explores themes of societal cocooning and exploitation.

The issue lies in the movie's slow approach to delivering its message. While the first half is engaging, it feels like the film takes too long to establish characters and family dynamics to reach its desired point. On the flip side, the film humorously takes subtle jabs at how Malayalis, in particular, treat migrant workers. Deepa Thomas plays Fathima, the heroine, in the film, which also touches on the plight of women who often lack agency in their marriages, their opinions undervalued because men in the family supposedly 'know better'.

The execution, casting, background scores, and setting in the movie are all commendable. Vinay Forrt particularly stands out, stealing the show with his standout character, complete with a distinctive moustache, unconventional hair, and quirky nature. His suspicion of his fiancee Fathima and her relationship with Abi (Lukman) injects a sense of comedy, yet at the same time, he also becomes quite irritating. Sunny Wayne, Lukman, and Deepa Thomas also deliver brilliant performances.

While the film successfully keeps the audience engaged until the very end, its progression is somewhat predictable, and the ending feels cliche. Nonetheless, it remains an enjoyable watch, despite occasional moments of faltering.

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