Moothon is the second directorial venture from Geethu Mohandas. The film has Nivin Pauly playing the lead role as a gangster. The film is set mostly in Mumbai and hence has lot of Hindi dialogues, written by Anurag Kashyap. Moothon was showcased in few festivals already and received good feedback.
The film starts with some beautiful shots of Lakshadweep. We are then introduced to a kid Mulla (Sanjana) who is keen to look out for his elder brother Akbar, who went missing several years back. He decides to go to Mumbai in search of him but ends up in Kamathipura in the hold of a dreaded gangster Bhai (Nivin Pauly). The relationship between Bhai and Akbar, their real identities and the flashback is revealed in the second half.
The story unfolds in Mumbai and the flashback portions in Lakshadweep, with the community and their cultural identities in full glory. The flashback portions remind us of the love stories of 80's and 90's, with the lighting and camera adding to the beauty. However, the script tries to merge two completely different storylines and that's where it looses steam. It also ends in a cliche manner like what we see in most gangster films. We are also not provided with a strong reason for Akbar not revealing the truth to Mulla, which drags the film towards the climax.
Nivin Pauly is in a very unchartered territory playing the role of Akbar. Not many actors would want to do such a character at this stage of their career, but he pulls it off superbly with just his expressions. Probably his best in terms of acting. Shashank Arora as Salim is reveting in a role which has become common for him these days. The kid Sanjana was too good and holds the film in the first half.
Technically, the film is good. Rajeev Ravi's camera work is exceptional ..the different hues used for both stories add to the grittiness in the narration. That shot from the back with Nivin and Roshan in the beach can become the next 'Dostana' reference shot for many memes. Editing was apt and the BGM haunting.
Geethu Mohandas has attempted a brave film with Moothon and the narration does deserve a mention especially the delicate manner in which the flashback portions and the scenes related to sexual identities were portrayed. But the same can't be told with the climax which seemed cliche and forced.
Moothon is strictly for cinema lovers and may not go well with the audience looking for commercial elements.