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Monster movie review: Mohanlal, Honey Rose's experimental thriller yields mixed results

Depicting how the society treats homosexuals as the reason for its characters to turn criminals negates whatever daring the makers of Monster had tried.

2.5/5rating
Monster movie review: Mohanlal, Honey Rose's experimental thriller yields mixed results
Monster poster
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 12.31 PM, Oct 21, 2022

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Story:

Lucky Singh, a hotelier from Punjab, lands in Kochi to complete a flat transfer deal and return the same day. Ferrying him around is can driver Bhamini on her first wedding anniversary. Coincidentally, Lucky's flat is in the same complex as Bhamini's and he becomes an unwelcome visitor in her family's life for the day. But is Lucky all that he says he is or does he have another motive?

Review:

In a scene in director Vysakh's Monster, two cops tell their superior that they have done all that they have been asked to but are still confused about what's going on. This happens after they have apprehended a suspect of a murder case and also have gone great lengths to verify the suspect's claims by bringing a man who was in another State. At times, while watching the Mohanlal-starrer, it won't be too far-fetched to say that the cops' thoughts also reflect what the audience is feeling. This greatly has to do with how the script of the film has been structured - mainly to hold off the middling suspense. 

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The film revolves around the visit of a Punjabi-Malayali entrepreneur named Lucky Singh, who is ferried around Kochi by cab driver Bhamini. His intrusive ways also mean he becomes an unwelcome guest at her first wedding anniversary. But after Lucky departs, Bhamini is caught up in a mess she has no explanation for. Is Lucky who he claimed he was and what were his true intentions? - the answers of these form the plot of this Udaykrishna directorial, which has his usual staple of 'mass' moments, a convoy of cars and the male gaze.

Both Udaykrishna and Vysakh had admitted that Monster doesn't follow their usual template of entertainers and it doesn't. In fact, the movie is structured such that it starts off as a supposed comedy, moves to a family drama, proceeds as an investigative drama and finally ending as a crime thriller with some action. Sadly, for most parts, the movie doesn't work, and even when it does, in the latter half, it does come with its set of problems. Depicting how the society treats homosexuals as the reason for its characters to turn criminals doesn't land as intended and painting the characters evil, in fact, negates whatever daring the movie's makers had tried. But due credit, this is also where the film becomes interesting. The action sequences, especially the one in the climax, is a standout for several reasons. 

Also read: Exclusive! Mohanlal’s Monster has a mixed genre and several unexpected turns: Sudev Nair

For Mohanlal, the role is a cakewalk (no pun intended). As Lucky Singh, he is jovial and loud, and sometimes irritable too. But that's what the writer seems to have gone for. He also gets his share of moments that play to the gallery. The rest of the cast, however, fails to raise the energy. You could feel this by how the movie's pace slackens when the actor is not there. Honey Rose is probably the only other actor to stand out here, partly getting the audience to empathise with her situation in the first half.

All said and done, even though the movie was initially planned as an OTT release, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve to excite die-hard Mohanlal fans but apart from that, this Monster lacks teeth.

Verdict:

Mohanlal's Monster is a mishmash of several genres and only works when the makers focus on the crime thriller aspect. Apart from a few scenes, which the makers are pushing as new territory for mainstream superstar-driven movie, the film leaves much to be desired.

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