The way Prithviraj has acted in the movie 9 exactly describes how the movie feels overall; stiff and forced. In a recent interview when asked about his dramatic style of acting, Prithviraj dodged the question by saying his directors were okay with that style. Well, from my point of view the directors should tell him that it isn’t working. With an excessively dramatic plot getting presented in a very predictable way, Abhinandan Ramanujam is left alone here with his effort on creating visuals not getting any support from other departments.
Albert an astrophysicist is our main protagonist. His wife Annie passed away after giving birth to their child Adam. During the time of Adam’s 7th birthday, a major global event was happening, as a huge comet was passing by Earth. Albert goes to the Himalayas along with son Adam to articulate about the event which will last for 9 days. The events that happen during these 9 days are what the movie 9 showing us.
The claim that this is the first of a kind experience in Malayalam itself has some problems. The major suspense in 9 is something that has been used in movies before and calling it a first of a kind just because of the fantasy element in it is a bit too much in my opinion. At the beginning of the movie, there is this scene where Prithviraj is explaining to his coworkers about how these 9 days will impact the common man as nothing that needs an electric connection won’t work during that time period. And I was hoping something that will explore the practicality of such a scenario will happen in the movie. But to my disappointment, the movie shrinks into a predictable psychological horror drama with too much of cheesiness all over it.
This is Jenuse Mohamed’s second film after 100 Days of Love and I must say that he has a good taste for creating striking visuals. But what he lacks is the ability to create a coherent screenplay. Yes, you can have the cinematic liberty when you are doing a sci-fi movie. But making the viewer merge into that reality is the responsibility of the director which sadly wasn’t working here. The shift of the movie from Kerala to Manali also takes away the global event aspect from the film. It becomes too much about Albert and Adam. And the problem is that what we see as a development in the father-son equation here isn’t that absorbing. Poor Abhinandan Ramanujam has made some stunning visuals for this movie. But the making that lacks grip over the content doesn’t do any justice to the cinematographer’s effort. Music and background score doesn’t really have much of an impact here even though they are not bad. The visual effects aren’t that spectacular looking at the fact that they postponed the release by 3 months for completing the visual effects. SPOILER ALERT – Prithviraj’s brother Indrajith has done a movie named Arikil Oral which in a way explored the same concept in a better way than 9.
Like I said in the beginning, Prithviraj is stiff. His expressions and the way he renders dramatic dialogues etc need some kind of reinvention. Koode and Ranam had loosened him up to an extent, but with 9 he has gone back to the Adam Joan version of his acting style. The dialogues were really flat and it really demanded a lot from the actors. Master Alok as Adam is convincing. Wamiqa Gabbi was fine in a poorly written Ava. Both Mamta Mohandas and Prakash Raj are there in an extended cameo like characters.
9 is a tiring sci-fi movie that doesn’t explore its possibilities. The weak writing that can’t really create curiosity in the minds of the audience is the main villain here. Because of that, even the performances become a lot restrained and overly dramatic. There might be some new elements for Malayalam cinema here, but not for the Malayali audience.
The weak writing that can’t really create curiosity in the minds of the audience is the main villain here. Because of that, even the performances become a lot restrained and overly dramatic.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended