Malayalam cinema has always been celebrated for its unique storytelling and realistic portrayal of characters. And when it comes to real-life stories being told, Malayalam film industry has always been lauded for it. This time, too, Jude Anthany Joseph’s 2018 exemplifies this tradition. The film, which is being coined as the ‘Real Kerala Story’ is based on the catastrophic floods that washed the state of Kerala in August 2018. The movie stars Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Indrans, Lal, Asif Ali, Narein and Vineeth Srinivasan, among others in the lead roles. The film takes audiences on a journey that brings to light the events that happened on a dreadful night during the floods of 2018. Though the movie released in Malayalam on May 5, the makers have now released a Hindi-dubbed version.
At the heart of the film is a compelling narrative that not only delves into the challenges people faced during the floods, but it also shows how everyone in Kerala came together to help each other in times of need. The screenplay weaves together multiple storylines, effortlessly blending the personal struggles of the characters with larger societal issues. The script is masterfully crafted, with well-defined characters that evoke empathy and emotional investment from the audience.
The performances in 2018 are nothing less than outstanding. Though everyone in the movie has been exceptional in their roles, one character that stands out in the film is that of Anoop played by Tovino Thomas. The depth and authenticity of his performance is truly commendable, making the character relatable and endearing. The portrayal of how each and every character arch unveils from time to time, and their interactions create moments of both intense drama and heartfelt emotion.
Besides the storytelling and acting, the technical aspects of the film are equally praiseworthy. The cinematography and VFX is visually stunning, capturing the scenic beauty as well as the catastrophe that struck Kerala that year. Each frame attempts to add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the movie. The film’s background score is another highlight that enhances the narrative and evoke a range of emotions.
One of the film’s strongest aspects is its ability to showcase societal issues with subtlety and nuance, and also give a message through scenes which have absolutely no dialogues, but just characters in motion. It seamlessly integrates these themes into the narrative, providing thought-provoking commentary on subjects such as class disparities, and cultural traditions.
In addition to its compelling storytelling, 2018 also excels in its production design and attention to detail. The sets and costumes are authentic, transporting the audience to the specific time and place depicted in the film. The art direction and editing are seamless, maintaining a steady pace and ensuring a smooth flow of the narrative about the incidents that happed in August 2018.
Overall, 2018 is a triumph in Malayalam cinema, showcasing the industry’s ability to produce compelling narratives with profound social relevance. With its exceptional performances, captivating storytelling, and meticulous craftsmanship, this film is a must-watch for cinephiles.