Lilli (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


What ‘Lilli’ with the double ‘L’ and ‘I’ would probably be remembered for, is the flicker of sure promise that its director Prasobh Vijayan displays. The debutante filmmaker does get all his survival thriller tropes right and crafts a terror climate with great flair, but falters in his choice of a script that thwarts his ambitions.


lilli-malayalam-movie-review

What ‘Lilli’ with the double ‘L’ and ‘I’ would probably be remembered for, is the flicker of sure promise that its director Prasobh Vijayan displays. The debutante filmmaker does get all his survival thriller tropes right and crafts a terror climate with great flair, but falters in his choice of a script that thwarts his ambitions.

Lilli (Samyuktha Menon) is heavily pregnant, and all set to deliver her first baby in a week. In the dead of the night, she receives a call, when a muffed voice at the other end informs her that her husband Ajith (Aryan Krishna Menon) has met with an accident. Terrified, Lilli starts driving to the hospital and enroute meets with an accident that leaves her unconscious. On waking up, she finds herself entrapped in what appears like a shady room, and starts banging on the door, screaming to let her out.

lilli-malayalam-movie-review

The glints of interest that ‘Lilli’ holds in store are courtesy the splendid spooky ambience that it rigidly maintains. On retrospect, it becomes evident that ‘Lilli’ gets a much better execution than its ordinary premise would merit, and as such it strikes you as a finely shot film that has an animalistic charm to it.

Where it lets you down is in its plot that is marred consistently with clumsy dialogues and tale instances that are quite mundane. The initial momentum is lost as it switches over to a flashback sequence that appears more staged than real, and predictability sets in majorly, leaving very little space for surprises or shocks for that matter.

lilli-malayalam-movie-review

The goriness that has become the talk of the town is more of a manipulative ploy here; a cleverly designed strategy that is designed to make you wriggle around on your seats. Lilli’s pregnancy adds to the horror, and left alone at the mercy  of three ruthless strangers, one of whom wouldn’t even mind getting a bit too cosy with her, the terror picture is complete.

At ninety minutes, ‘Lilli’ is a quick watch and doesn’t tire you out. It neither succeeds in being an inventive film, and makes do with whatever it has. Lilli jabs a nail into a man’s neck and hits the nerve straight on, having him spurt blood fountains in no time. There is another scene where Ajith is seen driving what appears like a ball point pen straight into a man’s chest that draws the curtains on him.

It’s only a matter of time before Lilli starts having her delivery cramps, and as has been anticipated, this is the wince-inducing moment that the film has been constructing upon. It’s contained, grisly terror that the film aspires to build, and it’s a steady downward curve thereafter, with the baby having finally arrived.

lilli-malayalam-movie-review

‘Lilli’ has a few fine performances, and Samyuktha playing the title role is remarkably good as the woman who finds herself way past the gates of hell. There are also staunch feats from actors as Dhanesh Anand who is as vile as it gets and Kannan Nayar, Sajin Cherukayil and Aryan Krishna Menon. Sushin Shyam’s musical score is eerie to the core, and Sreeraj Raveendran’s cinematography top notch. A very special word of appreciation to the art director Dundu Ranjeev who has majorly contributed to the chill factor in ‘Lilli’.

 ‘Lilli’ is a competently mounted film that could have done much better with some better writing. Lacking a compelling story to fall back on, it’s a poky thriller that delivers a few honest scares and a few misfires.


Verdict: Mixed Terror Bag


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