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Candid Review | 2018 movie: This Kerala story is an epic blockbuster that deserves a wider audience

The disaster genre is brought to life in 2018 with a blend of emotional vignettes and gripping action. 

Last Updated: 04.56 PM, May 07, 2023


Filmmaker Jude Anthany Joseph is particularly known for making feel-good movies. He has done movies like Ohm Shanthi Oshaana and Sara's. On top of being feel-good movies, both these movies also had another thing in common. Ohm Shanthi Oshaana and Sara's narrated the familiar stories from the point of view of their leading ladies. And judging from his filmography so far, one might assume that a movie like 2018, which is a disaster movie, falls outside Jude's skillset. But, you would be pleasantly surprised by Jude's grasp of the genre. 

2018 is inspired by true events that unfolded across Kerala. The torrential monsoon rains flooded the state affecting millions of life, destroying properties and claiming the lives of hundreds of people. It was the worst flood in Kerala in a century. And Jude opens the movie with this information. While we see the visuals of a flood-hit state, one of the panellists on a news debate very confidently says that unlike in 1924, Kerala is now well prepared to handle such heavy rainfalls. And we already know, that not just Kerala, no state in the country was prepared to deal with what was about to happen. 

The disaster genre is brought to life in 2018 with a blend of emotional vignettes and gripping action. Through intimate glimpses into the lives of a handful of people, the audience quickly forms an attachment to the characters. As they risk their lives to save others during the devastating floods, the impact of the events is all the more powerful. Tovino Thomas delivers a nuanced performance as Anoop, a character haunted by past mistakes and struggling to regain the respect of his community. But when danger strikes, Anoop rises to the occasion and becomes a hero, showcasing the true depth of his character.


2018 showcases stunning visuals that capture the devastating impact of the floods in Kerala. From cars and massive trees floating on flooded streets to protective walls turned into coffins, the imagery is both powerful and haunting. However, amidst the chaos and destruction, the movie also highlights the resilience and heroism of ordinary people. It reminds us of how humans can rise to the occasion and perform extraordinary acts of bravery in times of crisis.

Although 2018 centers around the devastating flood that wreaked havoc on Kerala, the movie delves into several underlying themes. As the calamity unfolds, all human conflicts and egos dissolve, and people come together to help each other regardless of their backgrounds. Even estranged siblings put aside their differences and claw through the earth to save each other. Strangely, love and hope blossom in the darkest of times. 

Malayalam filmmakers are renowned for their efficient approach to filmmaking. Though it's uncertain how much Kavya Film Company and PK Prime Production, the producers of 2018, invested in the movie, it's reasonable to assume that the budget was modest in comparison to films from other regions. Nonetheless, Jude has done a remarkable job of ensuring that the movie appears lavish and expensive.

The movie 2018 breaks away from the traditional Malayalam cinema that often requires a keen eye for nuanced performances and storytelling. Instead, it's a spectacular popcorn blockbuster that still manages to incorporate good sensibilities. If you're a fan of disaster movies, 2018 delivers on all fronts and provides an engaging cinematic experience.

The only flaw in this movie is the absence of a robust marketing strategy. It's almost a disservice that the filmmakers didn't prioritize giving it a wider release and promoting it extensively across the country. 2018 possesses all the potential to be a pan-India success, and it's a shame if it fails to reach audiences beyond Kerala.

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