When you try to make a film about a bad guy’s transformation, the key element in the script is how you will place that element of goodness inside a person who is so deep-rooted in being rowdy. Even though it has a few jitters in its journey to the end point, Maradona ultimately works and the reason for that is the way it has constructed its central character and even the ones around him.
So Maradona is a goon. He is this “use and throw” quotation goonda political parties and individuals use to get things done. The aftermath of one such operation by Maradona and his best friend Sudhi results in a scenario where a politician hires a private team to find these two. An injured Maradona is in a hideout and the film talks about how this “hibernation” period has an influence on Maradona’s perspective towards life.
What you feel at the end towards Maradona isn’t really empathy. Because even though he is apologetic, we have seen the unapologetic demon in him. Vishnu Narayan knows the key fact that we can’t root for him. And he does that with appreciable finesse in that sequence with the Malayalam rap song which sort of establishes the character’s nature to us. The engaging parallel tracks keep the movie ticking and it is mainly in the second half the mood of the film shifts. While some of the things are falling flat, the things that happen towards the end sort of make us understand the need of what Maradona is doing and if you have a bit of patience to invest some time to think about it, Maradona will work for you.
Tovino Thomas has proved his ability to act in that easy way, without making it look dramatic. The glimpses in the film where he can’t hide the venom inside him even to a small child were portrayed neatly by the actor. Heroine Sharanya R Nair was also pretty natural in being that character. Marshal Tito Wilson finally gets to play a character that isn’t an extension of his Angamaly Diaries role. Chemban Vinod Jose has the grace to be the veteran in his field. Leona Lishoy, Jins Bhaskar, Kichu Tellus, Nisthar Sait etc are the prominent faces in the film and they all looked convincing.
Debutante Vishnu Narayan sort of has this idea that things need to be more on the subtler and organic side to keep the audience occupied. With elements of fun and badassery, he sets up the first half and the screenplay at regular intervals tracks the other tracks in the story to maintain the compelling nature. Like I already mentioned, the initial actions that sort of plants the idea of being a sensitive person in Maradona are a little loud when compared to the way it gets set up till that point. But then the film sort of lingers around the least verbal and confessional phase that swiftly and deeply looks at the reality of these goons. In my opinion, that’s where the movie bounces back and that climax which sort of reminded me of Tovino’s torrent hit Guppy makes it that movie which has the quality to get analyzed. The cinematography is really impressive in getting the mood of the scenes. The cuts and background scores have that great sync. The music was also pretty effective in navigating the viewers to the particular mood.
Maradona isn’t mere stylization. It shows its title character in his worst phase and better phase with sincerity and that’s what makes it an engaging and original content.
Maradona shows its title character in his worst phase and better phase with sincerity and that’s what makes it an engaging and original content.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended