TRP-seeking journalism and its demonic side is like an everyday phenomenon these days, and there is no question about whether a movie like Live is really needed. The film Live, directed by VK Prakash and written by Suresh Babu, is a very filmy and slightly exaggerated criticism of the unethical journalism prevalent in our country. Live is one of those movies that can claim to be relevant, with hardly any moment that will captivate you with craft.
Dr. Amala is a famous face through her socially committed activities and her Youtube channel that offers informative bits to the viewers. The granddaughter of the ambulance driver in Amala’s hospital, Anna, is like a daughter figure to Amala. One day, Anna, who was preparing for the NEET exam, gets mistakenly arrested by the Police for prostitution charges. Even though the Police admitted their mistake quickly and let her go, the decision of the media to cling to Anna and her past made life hell for her. We see how Amala and her friends try to support Anna in this crucial time in Live.
There is no hesitation for me to say that the hunger for clicks has made mainstream journalism and a section of online journalism a messed up space. The post-truth era journalism is going after sensationalism, and Suresh Babu wants to expose the business minds behind the media houses. The Mandaram TV (clearly inspired by Manorama) in the film represents misleading mainstream media who just want viewership. Instead of making us realize the actual trauma, the movie explores the greed of journalists in a very superficial way. When Amala leaves Anna alone in the car, you automatically anticipate a crowd to cover that car. The script’s trajectory is full of such predictable and somewhat caricature-like representation of institutions and mindsets that needs to be criticized.
Mamta Mohandas as Dr. Amala is an apt choice for the character, and she portrays the angst and aggression of the character convincingly. The only problem was the dialogue delivery in portions with her character narrating other people’s backstories. Suresh Babu should have opted for an easier version of Malayalam with commonly used English words, considering the Malayalam pronunciation of Mamta. Priya Prakash Warrier, as Anna, gets to play yet another sad character after 4 years. Through her body language and minimal outburst of expressions, Priya also makes her character believable.
Shine Tom Chacko, as the channel head of Mandaram TV, channels his eccentric energy differently to deliver a believable evil-minded media tycoon. Jayarajan Kozhikode gets a prominent role in the film as the grandfather of Anna. I really didn’t get the necessity of someone like Soubin Shahir for the part of Dr. Amala’s husband. The very last scene in the movie almost felt like a scene they created to make Soubin feel important. Mukundan, Reshmi Soman, Akkista, etc., are the other memorable names in the cast.
This movie marks the second collaboration of VK Prakash and Suresh Babu after the Navya Nair starrer Oruthee. And the zone of the theme and the writing pattern are pretty similar. While Oruthee had a convincing track about how the lead character fought back, Live blandly criticizes the media without any zest in writing. In the last 20 minutes of the movie, when it takes the shape of a revenge thriller, you can predict what will eventually happen. How the screenplay constructed drama and infused all socio-political issues into it looks pretty lazy.
Live from VKP is a preachy criticism of modern-day journalism that uses familiar scripting tropes to set up a guessable story. If the pertinence of the topic can make you ignore the creative laziness and absence of craft, I would say Live might feel like a watchable thriller.
If the pertinence of the topic can make you ignore the creative laziness and absence of craft, I would say Live might feel like a watchable thriller.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended