Thank God It Is Friday and yes you know the drill. Another weekend with plenty of new releases to choose from! And first up I have picked a brand new Malayalam film Kaanekkaane on SonyLiv. There is just something about Malayalam films that does set them apart from the rest. A right concoction of Commercial Cinema and Thought Provoking Cinema wrapped into a simple premise but with a layered screenplay and well etched out yet complex characters. That has actually been a revelation here. And the stories are unique and closer to real life as well. And ofcourse there is a certain quality to the manner in which the films are shot. That said, does the law of averages catch up with Kaanekkaane or is it another film upto the high standards of Malayalam Cinema, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Kaanekkaane follows the story of an intertwined string of relationships where nothing is what it seems. Here, I would like to point out that I went into the movie blind and did not know what to expect. And so I can say is that the story is niche and in the same mould in terms of pacing as the Malayalam film Aarkkariyam. In other words, you will need patience to truely get the essence of this film. In the world of fast paced thrillers where the attention span of the audience is not completed tested, films like these are a breath of fresh air. The screenplay is extremely layered. It moves at a leisurely pace and it almost follows a dual text here. Usually there is a subtext to each screenplay, but here there are two texts – one that unfolds like a mystery and the other which is more of a psychological drama so to say. Herein lies the genius of the writing and the ability to pull off such a complex and nuanced drama. There are so many emotions in play here and conflicting ones too. All this culminates into a slightly melodramatic yet effective finale that gives this film a whole new perspective to the characters as well as the audience. The screenplay gives an important message of the fact that everything is a perspective and until a person is actually thrown in a situation that person may not understand the plight of the situation completely. Overall, the screenplay is extremely layered and nuanced where you can almost taste every emotion that has been simmering in the heat but its not hurried and leisurely pace makes it a niche.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well thought out and probably the heartbeat of the film, subtle yet impactful. And mind you this is a dialogue heavy film so it will require patience to understand the emotions which it is trying to convey. The music is pretty good and the BGM is a bit loud almost teasing the audience into an eventuality which is subtle in nature. This for me was quite deliberate and works in a weird way! The camerawork is outstanding. Director Manu Ashokan who had last directed the Parvathy starrer Uyare has a difficult subject in hand. And it required some amount of skills to pull it off. Yet, the simplicity with which we does pull it off is amazing. This is a direction piece to study and savour.
The performances are brilliant here. Shruti Ramachandran as Sherin has a small but important role and she does an amazing job with it. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Sneha is subtely brilliant here – a link between the two protagonists and sometimes it is her silence that speaks volumes. Tovino Thomas as Alan is wonderfully understated. It is the audience who would judge him throughout which means he was on a knife’s edge. Yet his performance is so balanced that you never really not like him. And that last scene will just stay with you, so beautifully performed. Which brings me to Suraj Venjaramoodu who is probably the artist that I have discovered this year – First with The Great Indian Kitchen and later when I visited Driving Licence. Such a fabulous actor and here as Paul he is extremely measured. He doesn’t quite go all out with his emotions, instead he holds them back that little bit. Such a complex character and such masterful skills to pull this one off. This could so easily have been a dull portrayal but this is an acting masterclasd that will stay with you long after the film has ended.
Kaanekkaane is niche yet subtly Impactful. And needless to say another winner from the Malayalam industry. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Highly Recommended!