Alone movie review: Why, Mohanlal, why? – The Indian Express

What’s Mohanlal doing to his career? There was a time when one would feel excited about a new Mohanlal movie. But, now it has come to a state where it feels like a nightmare when a new Mohanlal film arrives in cinemas. One is not sure how to feel about it. What has he done in this film now? Is he gonna surprise us or make us cringe in our seats? Is he gonna make us feel proud of him or is he gonna push our admiration for him to a breaking point?
His latest film Alone only adds to our agony at a time when the scars caused by the superstar’s last film Monster are still fresh.
Director Shaji Kailas’ Alone is set against the backdrop of the Covid-induced lockdown. It’s the beginning days of the pandemic and everyone is discovering ways to cope with a new normal. Kalidasan (Mohanlal) drives to Kochi to spend the lockdown alone at a fully furnished apartment. Everything is provided to him through no-contact delivery and he wants for nothing. He seems to have also stocked up enough alcohol to keep him company.
It makes you wonder whether this is a movie about how a well-off man spent the lockdown at a time when hundreds of immigrant workers lost their livelihoods, and walked miles and miles on empty stomachs to reach their homes. Well, that’s not the case.
Kalidasan’s awareness is always at 10. As soon as he enters the swanky apartment, he begins to hear some voices. Oh, wait, this is the movie about the toll that the lockdown took on people’s mental health, right? Wrong, again. Soon things get bumpy at the apartment. Doors begin to open and close themselves, doorbells go off voluntarily, and food disappears, freaking Kalidasan out. It’s a horror movie, then? Not exactly.
So what is Alone about? It’s about torturing the audience and exploiting our goodwill for Mohanlal. There’s no other way to describe the experience of watching this film.
Alone is really confusing. It’s unclear what Shaji Kailas and his writer Rajesh Jayaraman intended to achieve with this film. What was the idea they wanted to convey? What was the human experience that they wanted to capture? It’s not about loneliness but craziness. We never understand Kalidasan or a number of his eccentricities. He’s loud and at times obnoxious. He often goes on a monologue that we care less for and he exhibits narcissistic behaviour. It is shocking that rather for the first time, Mohanlal seems so inadequate to convincingly pull off a performance of an unhinged person. It’s because Mohanlal is not invested in his performance and he seems to be rarely connected with his character’s motivation. The movie is packed with random shots and vertigo-inducing camera movements that lack any meaning or purpose. The narrative contrivances expose the filmmakers’ desperation to stretch an unworthy idea and imagination to a feature-length film with one of the top stars of Malayalam cinema.
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Manoj Kumar RManoj Kumar R began writing for The Indian Express in 2016. He writes … read more


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