It is a known fact that the popularity of the South Indian film industries is growing day by day and it hit an all-time high with the release of the Baahubali franchise and the KGF franchise. In between all of the big-budget productions made by the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries is a small film industry that relies on content and its excellent depiction. This small industry is the Malayalam film industry. There have been some excellent films made in this industry in a variety of genres. Some of them are highly acclaimed all over the country. One of my personal favourites is the 2019 film Virus, directed by Aashiq Abu.
This film is a masterpiece in many different aspects right from the content to its making and the cast. The film is a fictional depiction of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode district of Kerala, which took the lives of 17 individuals, and the measures taken by the government to contain the virus. The cast includes some prominent faces in the Malayalam film industry such as Kunchacko Boban, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Tovino Thomas, Revathy, Sreenath Bhasi, Soubin Shahir, Indrajith, Poornima Indrajith, Indrans, Rahman, Madonna Sebastian, Asif Ali, Darshana Rajendran, Rima Kallingal, Joju George and many others. Having such a talented and popular cast, the fans of these actors would naturally demand extensive screen time of their favourite stars. However, Aashiq Abu and his team of writers Muhsin Parari, Sharfu and Suhas made sure that each and every character of the film is treated in a manner suitable for the film's content without creating unnecessary situations and moments for the stars to shine.
The biggest plus point of this film is its execution. The film's content is such that there always exists a possibility for the film to slip into the category of a documentary if it isn't helmed well. But the brilliance of Aashiq Abu and his writers helped in maintaining an eerie environment throughout the film, thereby making it a fine medical thriller film. Right from the first scene in the film, the viewers are thrown into a crowded hospital with many different patients entering and exiting the frame. The same state of chaos and helplessness is depicted very well during the portions where the virus outbreak takes place and there is a pressure on the government officials to control the spread. The script was very well written, with a good flow of events and excellent character development. It was a well-researched script of complex nature, with a fictional recreation of all the key events that took place during the outbreak. To create the eerie effect, the background score played a very important role. Sushin Shyam's spine chilling scoring was excellent and helped to maintain the feel of the movie. It really generated a feeling of fear in me as a viewer, when I watched the film in the theatres. The cinematography by Rajeev Ravi and Shyju Khalid as well as editing by Saiju Sreedharan were outstanding and made this movie an excellent one to watch.
As a whole, Virus is one of the finest medical thrillers to be made in India. From the content to its making, the film is a winner. Remakes of this film may be created but can never reach the natural ease of the original version. Since this is a period of a pandemic, we can actually relate to many events and terms stated in the film. The ending of the film will fill viewers with a feeling of hope and the belief that we can overcome these trying periods. Do watch this outstanding film on Amazon Prime.