First thing first; the film which I am going to talk about is having one of the darkest and disturbing theme /visuals compared to some of its peers from Mollywood. Each one of the posters (which were so different and brilliant) and trailers were conveying the violent mood of the film quite explicitly. So if you are prepared for embracing such a theme, then Lilli directed by debutant Prasobh Vijayan is all yours and definitely your cup of tea.
A survival thriller which is crisp and to the point instead of narrating a plot by beating around the bush (at just one and a half hours, the film is short which infact has worked to its advantage), Lilli is well made and has an intriguing, intense and disturbing tale to tell. Agreed, violence and shocking scenes are loaded excessively (and for that the censor board certified the film with an ‘A’ certificate) but what the film discuss in just ninety minutes of running time and how it is depicted to the screen in a non-linear, unconventional and unorthodox style of making deserves to be appreciated.
Now moving on to the story of Lilli. It’s the story of how the protagonist survive a kidnap. Ajith and Lilli are leading a happy life and are expecting their first child. Ajith is forced to do extra time work to meet their financial needs. One night,Lilli gets into the hands of three abductors and she is kept captive in a secluded house. Whether she can survive this ordeal or will she succumb to the cruelties of her kidnappers! Well, the film portray the suffering of a women during the days close to her pregnancy.
From a making perspective, Prasobh who is making his debut has adopted a totally different way of film making that we are used to. An unconventional approach and brave attempt for a Malayalam film is how I will put it. There is no place for any drama and how the story finally gets connected to the kidnapping and Lilli felt convincing in the end. A parallel story of a young man on the lookout by Police was also built into the story convincingly to create a sense of suspicion. Each and every scene was raw and the violence shown are totally new for a Malayalam film.
Coming to performances, the film has very few characters. Apart from Lilli and the three kidnappers, there is Ajith, the young man wanted by police and a couple more. Apart from Samyuktha Menon (Theevandi fame) and Aaryan Krishna Menon (who was earlier part of Blessy’s Pranayam and Lal’s Tournament), rest of the crew should be unfamiliar to majority of the audience.
With due respect and credits to all the actors who are part of this film, I would say Lilli belongs to Samyuktha Menon. It’s a role that surely need a good amount of effort. The sufferings she undergoes at the hands of her kidnappers as a pregnant women needs lot of work on the physical side apart from bringing the best expressions suited for each and every scene which was not easy. A job well done from the actress. Dhanesh Anand and Kannan Nayar are the two actors who portrayed the two kidnappers and they were notable with their presence. I am not sure about the name of the third kidnapper who was also okay. Aaryan as Lilli’s husband plays a crucial role of a loving husband with flair.
Sushin Shyam’s background score was one factor that gave a push to ensure the situations gets the right dose of buildup. Sreeraj Raveendran with the camera and Appu Bhattathiri with the cuts also aided the making style of Lilli. Sound design is another area that deserves to be mentioned.
Lilli is not for the faint-hearted. It require some mental strength to get adjusted to the disturbing visuals and violence. If you can do that, this film will an engrossing one for you. Coming from a debutant, this sort of making and picturisation makes me say that we can expect more such quality work from Prasobh and team. Its a thumbs-up to Lilli from my side.