Since the past few years, one of the most sought after directors of our Malayalam industry is Ranjith. His brand of film making has been a craze among the masses & the critics making him an enviable choice for the producers & the stars. After the impressive "Indian Rupee", Ranjith is back with "Spirit" with Lalettan who is coming on the back of a successful "Grandmaster". So can their purple patch put the disappointment of "Rock N' Roll" behind them???
Reghunandan (Lalettan) is the hottest property in the media world with his talk show "Show the Spirit" being the talk of the town. Though his intellect, polyglotic capabilities & popularity made people want to have a slice of his presence, he was in fact a collosial failure in his personal life. The main reason behind Reghunandan's disarrayed life was his alcoholic dependence which led to his divorce seven years back. However, good sense dawns upon him when he is confronted with a tragedy & that makes him delve into the psyche of an alcoholic.
Though not exactly on par with his previous ventures, Ranjith has once again hit the bull's eye by picking up a relevant issue & narrating a story weaved around it, all the while keeping in mind that it's not supposed to be a documentary. The first half just breezes by with the focus on the alcoholic histrionics of Lalettan, while the latter half shows Lalettan trying to tackle this habit by the scruff of the neck. However, I don't deny that the second half does slow the tempo & takes up a preachy pattern which might not be palatable to some. Shahbas Aman's music was fine as it was pretty much in sync with the feel of the film.
The life line of this film is undoubtedly Lalettan's brilliant performance which makes the script stand up & garner attention. Frankly speaking, I don't believe there is a single soul who could have done justice to this role in such an impeccable manner. Among the rest, Lena's performance deserves special praise while Tini Tom, Kaniha, Nandhu & Shankar Ramakrishnan did their parts well. Thilakan was wasted in a miniscule role while Madhu had a refreshingly modern look.
Verdict: The dynamic duo's names itself are more than enough to ensure a thunderous opening, with black marketeers having a field day. Add to that, an impressive script & brilliant performance, and we have a winner. It does address the menace of alcoholism in a befitting manner & makes us realise that the choice is ours whether the intoxicant drowns us or we down the intoxicant. In short, don't miss this spirited celluloid creation!!!