2018 review: Recreates the horrific floods and reminds us of the resilience of Keralites

Supported by great performances, music, visuals, and artwork, director Jude Anthany Joseph’s real-life story pays tribute to the warriors of the 2018 Kerala floods.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Mar 19, 2024

Tovino Thomas 2018 poster
A well-crafted movie!

2018 (Malayalam)

  • Cast: Tovino Thomas, Kunchako Boban, Asif Ali, Lal, Narain, and Aparna Balamurali
  • Direction: Jude Anthany Joseph
  • Producers: Anto Joseph and Venu Kunnapilly
  • Music: Nobin Thomas
  • Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes

Jude Anthany Joseph’s 2018 is purely based on the devastating floods that gave nightmares to Keralites in the year 2018. It has a huge cast, including Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Kunchako Boban, Narain, and Aparna Balamurali.

2018 is the story of many people affected by the floods that rocked Kerala. Many lost people their lives and several others were rendered homeless.

The story is set in Aruvikulam village of the Idukki district and in Alappuzha since these areas were the most affected by the floods.

Even though the floods wreaked havoc in major parts of Kerala, Jude Anthany Joseph doesn’t mention all the places. Well, it is a better way of storytelling; otherwise, the plot could have been scattered.

Also, the director doesn’t present the movie like a documentary which helps keep the audience engaged till the end.

Real-life stories

2018 based on Kerala floods

‘2018’ is based on the 2018 Kerala floods. (Supplied)

Anoop (Tovino Thomas) is an ex-army officer who is popular in his village. Manju (Tanvi Ram) is his love interest. Their marriage date is finalised but it’s hampered by the untimely floods. As a result, they both get busy working as volunteers.

Nickson (Asif Ali) is an aspiring model who belongs to the fisherman community. He isn’t interested in fishing and feels ashamed about his dad Thankachan (Lal) and his brother (Narain), both fishermen.

But circumstances change Nickson’s mind and he feels proud of his dad and brother.

Indrans appears as Bhasi, a blind man, who meets a tragic incident during the floods. He shares a good relationship with Anoop.

Shaji (Kunchako Boban) works with the Meteorological department.

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Vineeth Sreenivasan visits his mom after she meets with a minor accident. Floods wreak havoc as he reaches Kerala.

Koshy (Aju Varghese), a taxi driver, is supposed to take foreigners on a tour. But they couldn’t arrive in Kerala due to the floods.

Aparna Balamurali plays a journalist who covers the Kerala floods.

Engaging script

All these actors don’t get much screen space. But their characters get equal importance. They are all connected to the floods.

The basic plot of the movie deals with how Kerala faced the floods in 2018.

The script by Jude Anthany and Akhil P Dharmajan has many dramatic emotional elements that hook the audience to their seats.

The makers show how control rooms are set up during the floods, WhatsApp groups are created to pass on information, and high-level meetings are held with the chief minister to maintain the status quo.

The film also reflects the brotherhood feeling, resilience, courage, and hope that united the Keralites during the floods. The volunteers or warriors get a special mention through the characters of Tovino, Lal, Narain, and Asif Ali.

Also Read: Director Ashraf Hamza on his latest film Sulaikha Manzil


Jude Antony 2018

Jude Antony during the final mix of ‘2018’. (Supplied)

Performance-wise, Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Kunchako Boban, Indrans, Lal, and Sudheesh scored well.

Aparna Balamurali, Tanvi Ram, Sreeja Ravi, and other women actors are good in their respective roles.

Even though Aparna Balamurali doesn’t get much screen space, journalists can relate to her role. Especially when Mullaperiyar Dam was opened during the floods on 9 August 2018.

Initially, it was a news item for journalists. But then, realities hit them hard when they started reporting from the ground level and witnessed many tragic scenes.

Importance to fishermen

2018 also gives importance to fishermen who became real-life heroes by saving hundreds of people. They were lauded for their relentless services on several international platforms.

In 2018, Thankachan (Lal) leads the fishermen in his area. Their sincere efforts to save the lives of people who were held inside the houses during the floods remind us of the past.

Thankachan is one of the good characters in Lal’s career.

Mary Matha, the boat used during the rescue operations in 2018, has been put up as a memorial in a school that the film mentions.

Also Read: Kerala HC refuses to stay the release of The Kerala Story

Technically brilliant

Asif Ali Tovino Thomas Kunchako Boban in 2018

Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas, and Kunchako Boban in ‘2018’. (Supplied)

2018 is a technically brilliant movie. It has many underwater sequences that are presented captivatingly.

Sound plays an important role. The background score and the music composed by Nobin Paul are apt and complement the story. The sounds of rain and floods have come out really well.

Akhil George’s cinematography is excellent. The visuals are another highlight of 2018. The rescue operations of a pregnant lady from a camp and a family are shot well.

The art department needs to be lauded for its stunning work.

Sound engineer Vishnu Govind and editor Chaman Chacko add value to the film.

Final take

2018 is a sincere effort by director Jude Anthany Joseph & Co in paying tributes to the warriors of the 2018 Kerala floods. The film has been crafted well, thanks to the technical team.

(Views expressed are personal.)