Street Lights (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


Shamdat decides to go for a partly experimental account in ‘Street Lights’, but gets stuck with mostly one-dimensional characters in underdeveloped situations. With an add-on climax that goes on a few minutes even after all the action has come to a close, ‘Street Lights’ seems and sounds a bit too contrived to be real.


Street-Lights-Malayalam-Movie-review-Veeyen

It all happens within the span of a day in cinematographer Shamdat Sainudeen’s directorial debut ‘Street Lights’, that follows a three member gang (Stunt Silva, Hareesh Perumanna and Dharmajan Bolgatty) on the run from the cops, after having snatched a diamond chain worth five crores off the neck of a millionairess, in the midst of a burglary.

Following them hot on their heels is James (Mammootty), a police officer who has plenty of reason to keep the breaking in case under wraps. And away from all this chase and hunt is Mani (Adhish Praveen), a small boy, whose dreams of buying a new school bag have finally started showing signs of bearing fruit, now that he has earned his first salary from the workshop, where he helps washing cars.

Street-Lights-Malayalam-Movie-review-Veeyen

Not far away, in the very same city, under these very street lights, is also Subin (Soubin Shahir) who is disheartened that his childhood sweetheart Remya (Lijomol) has matured into an indifferent young woman who cares two hoots for his relentless wooing. There is also Mani’s teacher at school (Gayathri Krishna) who is enamoured by the boy’s attitude, and only too willing to lend him a hand.

Script writer Fawaz Mohamed very obviously has an ambitious plan in mind when he decides to lay out these distinct narratives alongside, aware that he needs to darn them together into a consistent whole at some point. In any film as this, it’s the sewing up that emerges decisive, and ‘ Street Lights’ does this patchily, and the result is a wearingly strewn together piece of cinema.

Street-Lights-Malayalam-Movie-review-Veeyen

‘Street Lights’ makes you yearn for quietness and calm, and shoves in dialogues even at the most inappropriate of occasions. It isn’t amusing watching three men make their way into a house in the dead of the night, with the intention to rob it, all the while muttering to themselves and to each other. An instance which reminds you that silence is a virtue that is often taken for granted.

Once the lead characters are established and planted firmly on the narrative map, Fawaz sets himself to the task of drawing those criss-crosses that would connect and hold them together. It’s here that it starts raining coincidences, and ‘Street Lights’ leaves you wondering if the world is indeed as small as it makes it out to be.

Street-Lights-Malayalam-Movie-review-Veeyen

There is also a flashback that James shines his torch on, and it isn’t something that passes muster; at least not enough to keep the keenness and excitement intact.  The solitary intent behind this is to establish a motive for the police officer to do what he does, and the whole sequence strikes you as pale and little else.

Mammootty comfortably takes a back seat in this ride, and there are no stellar surprises in store when it comes to his performance that is quite matter of fact. The scene stealers however are Adhish Praveen who very easily hogs all the scenes that we get to see him in, Soubin in a delectably delightful romantic avatar, Lijomol as his love and Semmalar Annam who delivers an incredibly authentic feat as Mani’s mom.

Shamdat decides to go for a partly experimental account in ‘Street Lights’, but gets stuck with mostly one-dimensional characters in underdeveloped situations. With an add-on climax that goes on a few minutes even after all the action has come to a close, ‘Street Lights’ seems and sounds a bit too contrived to be real.


Verdict: Average


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