'Alone' review: Mohanlal keeps us entertained in a sluggish one-actor thriller

Rajesh Jayaraman's script struggles to keep the audience hooked


The plot of the Malayalam film Alone is set in 2020 when India witnessed a frightening surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and the protagonist, Kalidas (Mohanlal), a motivational speaker, is the only character seen on screen. He has just relocated to a flat in Kochi from Coimbatore.

Kalidas starts to hear conversations between a mother and a daughter in his head. Soon after, a series of strange occurrences indicate the presence of someone else in the flat. Despite the fact that his friend Yamuna (Manju Warrier) blames it on his excessive drinking, he resolves to pursue the spirits and secrets behind the sounds.

Many of Kalidas’s acquaintances are introduced to the audience through their voices and their elaborate exchanges describe their relationship with Kalidas. These dialogues are useful, but they end up bombarding the viewers with background information that may or may not be pertinent to the main narrative. There are several opportune coincidences that give the necessary momentum for Kalidas's investigation.

Everyone he talks to promptly obeys his directions and accomplishes whatever Kalidas requires of them. All of these people appear to either give him all of the information he requires, no matter how confidential or to perform precisely what he wants them to do, no matter the repercussions.

Though Kalidas would start explaining ideas or philosophies at random, his eccentric demeanour and Mohanlal's entertaining acting alone keep the interest of the audience for the majority of the film due to the slow pace of its storyline. The other characters were merely placed in practical positions to assist Kalidas with something or to inspire him to delve deeper into the mystery.

The film does lag at times when the events divert away from the core of the plot. Attempts to create an eerie or unsettling atmosphere did not add anything substantial to the storyline. Though the whole movie is set inside a flat, the view of the sky and time-lapses of the city come are welcome changes in visual settings.

The background soundtrack created by 4 Music was used to develop tension while occasionally interfering with the actions on screen. Director Shaji Kailas has creatively employed unstable camera shots to vividly communicate the protagonist's emotions of uncertainty or panic.

The transitions from one scene to the next were creative and seamless. Even though Rajesh Jayaraman's script struggled to keep the audience hooked, it was an admirable effort. Voice actors such as Prithviraj, Manju Warrier, Zeenath, Renji Panicker, and others deliver excellent performances and even manage to connect with the audience.

Film: Alone

Director: Shaji Kailas

Onscreen Cast: Mohanlal

Voice cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manju Warrier, Renji Panicker, and others

Rating: 3/5 

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