Director: Arun Kumar Aravind
Cast: Asif Ali, Jean Paul Lal, Farhaan Faasil, Mukesh, Muthumani, Samyuktha Menon, Ketaki Narayan
There are four ambitious men — Stalin, Solomon, Majeed and Padamanabhan Nair. A huge sum of money comes to them. How they are connected to it and what happens to them thereafter is what the mass action drama Underworld is all about. Directed by Arun Kumar Aravind after Kaattu, Underworld is a blend of mass and class. The characters Stalin John (Asif Ali), Solomon (Jean Paul Lal), Majeed (Farhaan Faasil) and Padmanabhan Nair (Mukesh) have got style and attitude that would excite the audience.
It is clear on screen that Asif Ali has put his heart and soul into Stalin John. It is a remarkable character in his whole career. His costume may set a trend among youngsters. Jean Paul Lal has truly absorbed the spirit of ruthless Solomon. His eyes are sharp and cheeks shiver when he gets angry. Farhaan Faasil’s transition from the naive lover boy to the angry young man is delightful. After a long time, Mukesh is seen in a meaty role. And, he knows how to breath life into such a character.
The movie is different from Arun’s previous outings. Arun, who has directed and edited the movie, has given a fresh angle to his work. Underworld is devoid of those cliche slow motions, and is set in an ambience that is familiar to us. That brings the connect. The movie is primarily mass in nature, but it also has emotional moments.
The story, screenplay and dialogues are written by Shibin Francis. Interestingly, his characters are not those typical gangsters with a heart of gold. They are the real men with shades of grey we often come across. They have downfall moments, too. But, they are brave enough to risk their lives to achieve what they want. The characters have good, punch dialogues that would thrill the audience. They have equal space, too. Books like Ente Sathyanweshana Pareekshanangal play a good part in the story. Female leads are played by Samyuktha Menon and Ketaki Narayan. Muthumani, who appears as Stalin’s lawyer, too has done a decent job.
Music by Yakzan Gary Pereira and Neha Nair is another highlight of the movie. When it comes to mass movies, noisy background music is a common thing. They have taken a detour from the common place. It is loud where it is needed to be. It won’t pierce your ears.
For those who love stunts, Underworld has an array of them — especially the bike and jail sequences. Alex J. Pulickal’s camera aesthetically moves along with the characters to capture those action-packed moments.
The first half of Underworld, where characters are established, is a bit slow. But, that is inevitable as one would not be able to grasp the link between characters without those scenes.