The words "alone" and "lonely" might look like synonyms, but they have two distinct meanings.
You are alone when you are on your own and no one else is present. However, you are lonely when you are feeling sad and left out, even when you have a lot of people around you.
Watching the Malayalam superstar Mohanlal starrer in a packed theatre literally made me feel lonely, but I was pretty sure I wasn't alone in feeling that way.
Consider the release of a film starring one of your favourite celebrities. And the cherry on top is that it is a single-actor film where they occupy the full space on screen as all the supporting roles appear as voices.
For any die-hard fan, it should have been exciting, and they would have expected a treat. However, life does not always go as planned.
Alone is a disappointing film from an ace director, Shaji Kailas and a legendary actor, Mohanlal.
Set inside an apartment and themed around the nation-wide COVID-induced lockdown, the story of Alone revolves around Kalidas (Mohanlal). He fears paranormal activity in his house as he hears the voices of a dead mother and her child, who were the previous tenants. Kalidas tries to decipher why he feels the presence of their spirits in the house, all while staying connected over the phone with his girlfriend Yamuna (Manju Warrier) and his confidante, Hari Bhai (Prithviraj).
The film intends to be a murder mystery. It wants to keep you on the edge of your seat by infusing thrilling moments into the screenplay. However, with absurd transitional music and weird camera angles, especially those that zoom into Mohanlal’s eyes in the most embarrassing manner, you ask yourself if you are delusional, sleep-watching the film, or worse, experiencing an earthquake in the theatre, along with so many other existential questions. The film puts your fandom for Lalettan to the test.
That doesn’t mean the film lacks all positives. It has an interesting perspective on solitude, touches upon the butterfly effect—the universe’s cause-and-effect theory and speaks about child abuse. These moments, however, are few and far between.
Mohanlal says at one point in the film that if he stays in one city for too long, either he gets bored of the place or the place gets bored of him. I felt he indirectly spoke for the audience in the theatre at large. With such a predictable narration, you just feel bored even before you are halfway through.
Alone is running in cinemas now.