‘Raghunandan’ (Mohanlal) is an England-returned ex-bank employee, who quit his job for its wearisome nature. He then became a journalist and lived at many metros of the world around. Disgruntled by that too, he comes back and settles in a metro of Kerala, now writing a novel named Spirit, which narrates his own life. He believes that his death can only mark an end to it. His best friends in the city are ‘Meera’ – Raghu’s ex-wife (Kaniha) and ‘Alexy’ – Meera’s husband (Shanker Ramakrishnan) who runs a resort in the city. ‘Sunny’, son of Raghu and Meera, disabled to hear and speak, is with his mom. The cinema is the chronicle of the life of Raghu, or it transforms itself in to the novel.
Being a ‘miserable narcissist’, as the narrator depicts, Raghunandan is too proud of himself. He hosts a regular interview show – Show De’ Spirit - in a TV channel. Everyone, from a politician to an earnest IPS officer, is equal prey to his sarcasm in the show. It is his alcoholic and ironic nature that led his marital life in to a collapse. Never apologetic to the drinking habit, he is still in love with alcohol and the "spirit" it gives, and has an extensive collection of vintage drinks in his house.
As his normal "spirited" life goes in pace, he confronts some bad consequences of his drunken, teasing habit even from his best friends. He sees the life of ‘Pankajam’ - his home maid and her drunkard husband ‘Maniyan’ nearby. Raghu’s best friend, ‘Sameer’ dies in his own hands with liver cirrhosis caused by extensive drinking. From then Raghunandan’s changes…
Mohanlal, Shankar Ramakrishnan, Kaniha, Madhu, Thilakan
Being genuine to the society around is the key element missing from the so called "new wave" movies in Malayalam today. Spirit – the new Malayalam movie which reunites the Ranjith-Mohanlal duo after a long break is well crafted and very contemporary. Be it in the eyes of a cynic or in the eyes of a normal viewer, all will agree that Spirit extends its frames to both the personal and social lives of present-day Malayali. The godfather of the new trend makers, Ranjith, did it well.
Unlike Rock n Roll, the previous combo film of the duo, the movie does not portray any silly romance comedy again. It shuts out the presence of super-human characters too. In a candid note, Spirit is a story that one has witnessed many times in life before the cinema.
Watch the movie for:
- It is a relief that Mohanlal is not a hero here. He is simply the aggressive, arousing, mischievous Raghunandan, who have all the lunacy of an alcoholic, but a sheer intelligent man. Again we see a Mohanlal who is free from heroic adornments and simply the best of his actor, with even his free flowing fingers speak.
- Kaniha does good job as the leading lady. Maniyan (Nandu) does a striking performance, by living as a real drunken species of typical Malayali on screen. Thilakan too did a brilliant job.
- Shankar Ramakrishnan, Madhu, Lena, Kalpana, T P Madhavan and Tiny Tom did fine support performances. Sidharth Bharathan’s Sameer resembled Ranjith’s dear ‘Puthan’ (Gireesh Puthanchery) a lot.
- Shahabaz Aman’s music is pleasing. The song “Ee Chillayil…” have many similarities with Aman’s own “Ee Puzhayum…” from Indian Rupee. The lyrics of Rafeeq Ahmed are outstanding and brilliant.
- Fine direction and dialogues by Ranjith
Skip the movie for:
A bit dragging in the second half.
Spirit brings together a splendidly scripted plot, consummate acting and incisive irony – a film that just doesn’t deserve being missed.