Vellam Movie poster




‘Vellam: The essential drink’ is a second directorial venture of Prajesh Sen starring Jayasurya and Samyuktha Menon in the lead roles. The movie is a biographical adaptation based on the life of a Keralite business person, Murali Kunumpurath. The movie is a journey of Murali from a complete alcoholic to an international business person along with a strong social message.


Murali is an ordinary tile worker with an alcoholic disorder because of which we failed in all aspects of his life. His family and society contempt him for the drunkard he has become.

After a series of heart-wrecking incidents in his life, he tries to snap out of alcoholism that made him lose everything he loved, and that will lead him to Dr. Subramaniyam. Despite breaking his faith, Dr. Subramaniyam gave him a second chance along with the support of Murali’s wife, Sunitha, who had left him.

Murali finally recovers from his alcoholism. But when everyone turned their back on him when he needed them the most, he tries to end his life. Dr. Subramaniyam, knowing this, advised everyone to lend their support to Murali for his recovery and Murali slowly began leading a normal life.

His past denied him of any work and that lead Murali to start a business which pushed him to come up with an interesting idea. Murali in end comes up with an idea that leads him to become the successful business person he is today.


I dismissed this movie for being unrealistically hopeful, but my jaw dropped when I realized that this is a biopic and Murali Kunnumel actually exists! It took me a second watch to dig out all the minor details which, when brought together, unraveled something special that left me in awe.

A movie that had everything going for it. Jayasurya has already proven himself to be a spellbinding actor, and his performance as Murali is one of his finest. Prajesh Sen’s direction is top-notch in Vellam. Engaging cinematography and heart-melting music added magic to the movie.

What I loved most is its attention to details, whether it was sprinkling the moments which spurred his final idea right from the start, or adding layers to the characters, or staying true to its objectives; even the little cameo by Murali Kunumpurath added a pleasant touch.

Vellam stretches our attention to the suffering caused by alcoholism to others and to the alcoholic, the humiliation that it brings to the family, neglections from society in the name of alcoholism. On a surface level, you can say the movie pointing out that Alcoholism is a medical disease that can be treated and that the recovering alcoholic needs support from everyone around. But deep down, the movie tries to challenge the stereotype we associate with alcoholics, where they are treated as less than human.

Prajesh sen’s movies have well-crafted strong female characters that have outshone the heroes for me, whether it was Anitha Sathyan from Captain or Sunitha from Vellam in this case. The character they have shown in tough times always grabbed my admiration and left a special place for them.

Something to look out for is that this movie uses up all of its time trying meticulously focus on the devastation that alcoholism can bring in and the cringing suffering on the way out of alcoholism, it was left with just two minutes out of this two-and-a-half-hour movie that makes the climax look like a half-baked over-night success. Also, how conveniently Murali was shown as perfectly healthy in the end despite a highly dysfunctional liver as stated by a doctor in the beginning.

Why I wasn’t bogged down by the very predictable climax was that I don’t think the movie is about the inevitable success that follows the tragedy that we are all used to, it’s about building the conviction that change is possible.

Finally, drawing up a verdict for this movie would be, if you can excuse the clichés of an inspirational movie and look close enough to actually see what this movie is about, you will be pleased by a brilliant one.

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