MoviesMalayalam Movies

9-Nine Review

U Sci-fi, Thriller 2 hrs 29 mins Feb 7, 2019
Excellent
3.0

Critics

3.1

Users

2.9

9-Nine Review & Rating

|

9 Review: Malayalam Cinema At Its Best

The premise

Malayalam Cinema has been stretching its boundaries for the last few years both in terms of the scope of the subjects and market. One such film that released this week is 9. Prithviraj Sukumaran's own production venture attracted the attention of movie buffs with the promise of a genre-bending experience and some masterful visuals. 

With Sony Pictures foraying into Malayalam Cinema and the promotions were done on a never before seen scale, the hype created for the film reached the sky. A stellar cast and some of the highly talented technicians joined hands for this film and let' see if Prithviraj's risk of pouring his own money into making this film paid off with 9 movie review.

The story

Albert Lewis is a brooding Astro Physicist. He is a single father and being a scientist it is a given that he doesn't believe in the supernatural. But as things pan out, the non-believer becomes a believer and that comes as a surprise twist in the film (more on that later). Prithviraj looked the part. He is a widower and has no time for his son. This leads to some obvious friction between them but it is not the focus of the movie as the core point is something else entirely. 

Advertised as a blend of science fiction, thriller and horror genres, the movie packs a punch with an original premise. After the customary set up of the story and establishing the character dynamics and relationships, the movie comes to the subject in hand at the earliest without much ado. A comet is coming into the orbit of the earth which is going to wreak havoc in many ways. 

It is not unusual for comets to threat the human earth but here in the film, the ramifications will be vast in scope. For the 9 days, it's in the vicinity of earth, there will be no modern communication possible. Imagine there is no connected world as we got used to in the last one decade. You can't communicate via cellular phones. There won't be any power supply. All you have for entertainment is getting yourself accustomed to mother nature. Live like our ancestors did a century and a half ago. 

But those 9 days will play a major role in the evolution of the relationship between our protagonist Albert Lewis and his son Adam. Adam is a precocious child. But Adam faces a severe and near irreversible danger. It is on the shoulders of Albert to save the kid who has intelligence that belies his age (7 years).

The genuine surprise for the scientist protagonist comes when this phenomenon was all predicted by a tribe near the Himalayas where he goes with his son to have a clearer view to observe. How Albert and Adam cope with all this and how the world and humans turn out post-the catastrophe form the rest of this film. 

Writing and direction

At times horror, at times thriller. A science fiction film of the highest class. Surprised? Yes. Not just the common audience, even the genuinely informed reviewers and audience have surprise after surprise in store with this audacious creation of Jenuse Mohammed. This reviewer's head reels thinking how this young filmmaker all of one film old convinced a star like Prithviraj (though he is known for going off the beaten path) to not just act but to produce this on such a lavish scale. 

The writing is brilliant and the making takes the cake. The visuals are frighteningly gorgeous. The frames are set immaculately. The vision he has shown in certain scenes is fear-inducing even for seasoned directors. Don't nitpick the smaller lapses. Even films like Titanic and The Dark Knight have their goof ups. Just think about this film with an open mind. How! How can such a film be made? Well, you'll get the answers once you watch it in the theatres. The direction is flawless. But just don't give a thought about the filmmaking. Just follow the visuals and dive into the world created by Jenuse. 

The performances

Prithviraj has played a role that is tailor-made for him. Though not exactly a scientist (astrophysicist), but we have seen playing protagonists in various thrillers with similar shades as far back as Anandabhadram. But he delivered a powerful performance and became part of the vision of the director. He left all the inhibitions in thin air and unleashed the character like it should be on the screen. Kudos! The boy, Master Alok, who played Adam walked through the character. A fantastic film to be part of for the young actor. 

Next mention should be given to Wamiqa Gabbi. The talented actress has done a great job in her limited role but do we need to see her speaking Hindi in Malayalam accent (please, with such a production budget, the makers could have hired a proper dubbing artist) for a Punjabi character? All right! leaving that aside, Mamta Mohandas added value to the film with seasoned performance. Prakash Raj is another asset. We have gotten used to him playing the same roles on and on again these days and delivering the same performance again and again. Here is a refreshing change. 

The crew

The music of the film, especially the background score is stunning. We have seen the glimpses of brilliance in the trailer itself with the sounds reaching the peak by the end of it, and in the film, we experience the magic. (Reviewer: Do watch this film with a proper sound system to enjoy it better). The visuals are already talked about. Abinandhan Ramanujam should be given abhinandans (congratulations, pun intended) for his great work. Masterful use of the camera. The Editing is first rate with not a single dull or unnecessary moment. 

The production scale is grand and is beyond anything we have seen in Malayalam Cinema. Just based on the production values we can say 9 represents South Indian Cinema at its best. A top job by Prithviraj for his maiden production as a solo producer. The script and the scale and scope of the film impressed Sony so much so that they came out to distribute the film. A first for regional South Indian film. Truly watershed moment for Mollywood. The art department has done a superior job to many higher budget films than this. 

Finally

9 is not an ordinary film in any conventional way. An original premise backed by audacious vision. Some top-notch performances and world-class work by the crew. Don't rant about the hits and misses or search for the answers the director has left without commenting upon. Just watch it and interpret in your own way. We can't get such films not even once in a generation. Now is our chance to proudly show Malayalam Cinema at its best. Grab the chance when the time is right. WATCH IT! 

Positives

  • Production scale
  • Original story and premise
  • Thrilling narration
  • Prithviraj and Master Alok's performances
  • World-class visuals and sound design

Negatives

  • Don't nitpick

Pycker Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Reviewed by: GitacharYa

9-Nine Critic Reviews

9-Nine User Reviews

  • Bhagath

    11 Feb 19 @ 6:53 PM

     Excellent camera work and VFX Outstanding climax twist ...... Just loved the film

    Watch only in theatre .

  • Akhil

    7 Feb 19 @ 8:08 PM

    Visual treat.

    Must watch in theatre.

    Horror scenes are next level

  • Akhil

    7 Feb 19 @ 8:08 PM

    Visual treat.

    Must watch in theatre.

    Horror scenes are next level

9-Nine Live Updates & Public Talk

The science fiction horror-thriller 9 has been in the news for all the positive reasons for a long time. With an ever-increasing buzz, the film starring Prithviraj Sukumaran hit the screens today. The Jenuse Mohemmed has another notable distinction. It is the first film in Malayalam Cinema to be distributed by Sony Pictures, the international media conglomerate in their first ever foray into South Indian Cinema.

All this apart, it is the strikingly gorgeous but fright-inducing visuals that captured the attention of the film lovers. Despite the recent box office performance of Prithviraj's films being poor, the film is one of the highly anticipated films this year. And, as expected, 9 opened to genuine enthusiasm from the early watchers who gave a unanimous thumbs up for the first half of the film. The setting, subject matter, and Prithviraj's performance alongside Jenuse Mohammed's direction are all praised. 

The audience and the critics are highlighting Jenuse Mohammed's direction, top-class background score, and the director of photography as the biggest positive points of the film. The first half is termed as a great blend of fiction and horror. The movie 9 is the wow moment for the horror lovers. The horror elements worked out great and created enough intrigue and frights. Basic theme tells what will you do in 9 days if you are in a place where no electricity, no internet, no more smartphone etc. 

Keep watching for more 9 public talk and live updates. 

9-Nine Preview

What is 9 About?

9 is a science fiction psychological thriller with horror elements. The movie apparently deals with a supernatural angle revolves around the concept of fear and how it eats away a man. As the character played by Prakash Raj warns Prithviraj Sukumaran's Albert Lewis, it's not the right time to fear. The movie revolves around Albert Lewis and his son Adam who was freshly expelled from the school for reasons unknown. But Adam is precocious. He has an intelligence that is abnormal for a boy of seven. 

Apart from Prithviraj and Prakash Raj, Mamta Mohandas plays a mysterious role. We can gather that she is the dead wife of Albert Matthew but what's her connection with the ongoing turbulence in the life of Albert and Adam is not revealed. Albert has to protect his son Adam. And the coming 9 days are not the right time to fear. How and what? Albert promises his son that he will protect him come what may! But will the promise be kept as easily as the word given?

9 Promises

An ultimate experience of thrills

We have seen thrillers. We have seen horrors. And albeit in fewer numbers, we have also seen science fiction films. Blending all these genres into a bleak but beautiful looking canvas is a virtually impossible task. But Prithviraj is up to the challenge. He went solo as the producer shows how much he believed in the project. The visuals of the film are spectacular. The story promises intrigue. Jenuse Mohamed who previously directed a film like 100 Days of Love comes up with an innovative film. The film is sure to give us thrills never experienced before on such a scale. 

Prithviraj Sukumaran

Prithviraj Sukumaran, one of the top stars of Malayalam Cinema, is known for backing films with strong content. The same is the case of 9. Jenuse Mohamed's psychological horror-thriller is also touted as a science fiction film. Whatever the case, it is one more thriller that Prithviraj acts in after Adam Joan and Ezra. Acting in thrillers, especially with the supernatural element at the core is a risky business for star heroes but Prithvi has time and again proved it is the content that matters. 9 is certainly a film worthy of such confidence. 

Jenuse Mohamed and his team

Jenuse Mohamed though previously directed a simple romantic comedy has shown he is capable of framing proper visuals. 9 is banking as much on the visuals as on the story with probably the fears of the main characters manifested in reality. He also roped in talented music directors like Shaan Rahman and Sekhar Menon (for musical score). The background score in the trailer is any evidence to go by, the music plays a vital part of the narration. The music ascended at a deliberate pace in the latter part of the trailer and reached the peak by the end of it culminating the whole of it into a stunning note at the end. 

The cinematography by Abinandhan Ramanujam is stunning with immaculate frames and unbelievable angles. It has given an entirely a new dimension for the movie. The production values are grand and Sony Pictures International, the mega media-conglomerate forays for the first time into Malayalam Cinema with this film (first time into South Indian Cinema itself). We can't wait for the visuals rolling out on the screen. 

Stay tuned for 9 review, rating, and complete analysis. Be right back!