Nna Thaan Case Kodu
Thank God It Is Friday but what an eventful Thursday it turned out to be! While India were earlier knocked out of the Asia Cup, a dead rubber against Afghanistan brought the much awaited Virat Kohli 100 after 1020 days signalling his return to top gear! And what an elation it was! The innings got me emotional but made me feel alive again after such a long time and here is wishing Virat on behalf of Popcorn Reviewss the very best! And while the King was back, the Queen breathed her last signalling the end of an era. Two major world events coincided within a span of hours which is why the delay of this review of the Malayalam film Nna Thaan Case Kodu which is streaming on Hotstar.
Nna Thaan Case Kodu is a film that I had wished to watch during its theatrical release in August. But the film had coincided with two big Bollywood films Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan and so its release was very limited. And while I did miss its theatrical release, I had a close eye on its OTT release given that the film was directed by the director of Android Kunjappan Ver 5.25. Finally the film began streaming on Hotstar and here are my two cents on the film Nna Thaan Case Kodu.
Story & Screenplay
Nna Thaan Case Kodu follows the story of a reformed thief falsely accused in an incident, who decides to challenge the authorities in the court of law. The stories revolving around courtroom scenes can be tricky but this is one of the finest satires of the year! The screenplay standing at almost 140 minutes was a point of skepticism for me but it was so well written that a few lags in the screenplay did not come across as a flaw!
The drama opens in a typical Malayalam template which likes to focus on the world building. So you are introduced to the protagonist in a hilarious opening sequence. You can almost pin point on the fact that despite this being a courtroom drama, it is not really going to be heavy given the introduction of lighter moments. But what I did not want to see was a caricature of the Indian Judicial System. And I was pleasantly surprised by the situational comedy which is introduced in the screenplay.
The conflict in the screenplay is slowly integrated in the screenplay. What seemed like a stray and trivial incident becomes the fulcrum of the entire film. And the drama does so well in exposing the shortcomings of the system. The audience almost does get a sense of how the court cases unfold in the real world as well. Also there are serious potshots taken at the authorities in question in a smartly penned screenplay. The writing is not really in your face but if you are able to latch on to the humour and the issues which it is trying to address then you are in for a treat!
For instance, very smartly the petrol rates are integrated in the screenplay showcasing the plight of the poor as they struggle with everyday chores amidst its rise while the people in power just look to pass the buck to a soft target around them. The question which the film addresses is on the establishment in what is a layered screenplay filled with humour which does get dark at times too. At the heart of it, I really enjoyed how the loose ends of the screenplay were tactfully tied together making it a satisfactory watch. The final act is also a good one which will give you Jolly LLB vibes in certain places but the final scene which started off by giving me chills ended in a laugh riot, thereby perfectly summing up a well written screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
Generally it is a case with comedies with movies which you watch with subtitles, wherein a few lines are lost in translation. This does happen in this film as well but still I was able to latch on to the gist of the drama thereby understanding the overall picture and finding humour in it. The music is pretty good, the BGM also is quite nice. The cinematography is an unsung hero here. It may not be flamboyant but certain camera angles used to capture the “incident” or a few courtroom scenes was quite effective. Director Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval who had last directed Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, a film which was a hit and a miss for me(due to loss in translation primarily), is in top form here. He is able to weave around an important tale laced with the right doses of humour making for a delicious satire which does keep you interests peaked throughout.
The performances are excellent here. Basil Joseph as the Magistrate at the end has his moments to shine. Unnimaya Prasad as the Chief Minister is wonderfully understated. Rajesh Madhavan as Sureshan is hilarious to the core. Gayathrie as Devi is well restrained and a silent support to her husband making her very endearing. PP Kunhikrishnan as Magistrate 1 did show shades of Saurabh Shukla from Jolly LLB and he was splended to watch. Kunchacko Boban as Rajivan is one of my favourite actors doing the rounds simply by his choice of films. If it was Nayattu last year and Pada this year, he has followed it up with one of the best satires of the year in Nna Thaan Case Kodu wherein he is exceptional to watch. You feel a sense of empathy watching him but you as an audience also judge him given his past in the film. Such a well balanced act in what was a towering performance!
Nna Thaan Case Kodu is one of the best satires of the year! Available on Hotstar and Highly Recommended!