Spirit directed by Ranjith is undoubtedly a superb film. Ranjith continues his signature style of making socially relevant movies with required blend of commercial touch ups. The relevance of the theme is the biggest plus of the film and it conveys its intention correctly to the viewer.
Spirit is a satire about the alcoholic nature of the modern day malayali. The main protagonist Raghunandhan played by Mohanlal is an alcoholic person. He is a unique personality. He is a narcissist, he is divorcee and he is the anchor of a tv chat show “Show the Spirit” which literally exposes the dark and bad side of each personality. Even though he is a divorcee his ex wife Meera and her Husbend Alexi are his best friends. He considers his divorce as a sensible decision made by him and his ex wife. He is never ready to accept the fact that he is an alcoholic where as in real life he is such a chronically alcoholic person who cant even begin his day without having a drink mixed with his morning black coffee. He has his own justification for having alcohol. Some minor and major setbacks in the life of the people around him shackles the principles of Raghunandan. The death of his beloved friend totally changes him and after stopping the bad addiction he realises how bad he was when he sees another alcoholic Maniyan, his plumber. Raghunandan’s attempt to make the public aware about the different dimensions of this liquor addiction with the help of his TV show is the core of SPIRIT.
The movie really shows every dimension of different type of alcoholics. One is Raghunandan himsel, another one is Maniyan- a plumber who will even use toilet water to fix a drink, an old man- who is begging his beloveds for a quarter and yells at them if they dont give him. A retired army captain who acts disappointed when his wife leaves for a big trip and enjoys his life with drinks when she is out. There is a scene where the bartender Johnson shows a man and warns Raghunandan that “He is having a drink but in your case the drink is having you”. Through the arrogant and too much open nature of Raghunandan, Ranjith shows the audience how badly liquor can effect someones mental approach.
Even though the major portion of the movie is intended for the anti alcoholic movement, the movie also tries to draw the attention of audience to other relevant topics like criminal nature of students. How to prevent these etc.
On screen everyone delivers a thumbs up performance. Mohanlal excels as the arrogant alcoholic Raghunandhan, as the smart TV anchor and also as a calm and focused Raghu. Shanker Ramakrishnen handled the character of Alexi very neatly. Kaniha portrays Meera in a satisfying way. A special mention should be given to Nandhu for his natural performance as plumber Maniyan. Veterans like Madhu, Thilakan and Kalpana also excells in their small yet worthy roles. Sidharth Bharathan did a memorable performance as Sameer. Lena also impresses as the DYSP. Govindan kutti plays the role of Binoy very neatly.
Off screen, Ranjith’s direction improves by each script and we can find something new in each film. Direction style has shown some inclination towards the new generation style. The old fast and full of vocabulary dialogs of Ranjith can be found in this movie. But the spiritual/practical dialogs are also there in the movie. The screenplay never really accelerates or drags, it keeps a steady flow. Venu’s cinematography is really good. The toatal feel of the canvas is bright. The sting operation sequences were also captured realistically. Beautiful lyrics and hummable tunes.
Overall SPIRIT is a signature stuff from the brilliant film maker Ranjith. If you have loved his movies from Kaiyyoppu to Indian Rupee, this one will also entertain you and will make you think. My rating is 4/5 and a thumbs up for this sensible Mohanlal flick.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended