MANJUMMEL BOYS is a survival thriller film written and directed by Chidambaram, and produced by Parava Films. Based on a true incident from 2006, the film revolves around a group of friends from Kochi, who decide to have a vacation in Kodaikanal, but unexpectedly get trapped inside the Guna Caves. Manjummel Boys is the second directorial venture of Chidambaram after Jan. E. Man (2021).

A few minutes into the film and the audience can feel connected with the happenings on screen as the characters, a part of a very large group get introduced. There are no surprises here and the cliché and yet realistic banter does not score many points. After a while it gets a bit monotonous and before it gets tiring, the group thankfully embarks on their much anticipated trip. This is where the action begins as the writer skillfully weaves a very rationale screenplay as the script slowly and surely veers to the plot. The sudden transition to the impending tragedy is effectual as the viewer now has all the attention of the screen. Now on it is a display of camaraderie, loyalty, faith and courage as the rest of the group battle it out from the depths of the impossible. Credit is due to the writer for not resorting to showmanship or melodrama as the screenplay sticks to the honest delineation of the situation at hand. The candid presentation with the clever layering of their childhood memories with the present challenges as adults works wonders. On the flip side the film hits a plateau after scoring a high. The tension doesn’t progress beyond a point and the writing feels a little relaxed in the name of sticking to being pragmatic. The men in uniform got nothing to offer save for their rudimentary discourses. These inadequacies have been amazingly camouflaged by the technical prowess of the people behind the screen.

Shyju Khalid’s cinematography is top notch along with Sushin Shyam’s scrupulous background score successfully compound the palpable anxiety. Vivek Harshan’s editing is effective. Dialogues are good and direction is impressive.

The remarkable cast delivers a stirring performance. Sreenath Bhasi is striking in a short role. Soubin and the rest in the form of Balu Varghese, Ganapathy, Jean Paul Lal, Khalid Rahman and Chandu Salimkumar are wonderful in their roles.

MANJUMMEL BOYS is an inspiring tale of courage and comradeship!!



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