'Kanupapa', starring Mollywood Superstar Mohanlal, hits the screens today. Here is our review.
Jayaram (Mohanlal), the blind lift operator at the neighborhood apartment, enjoys the goodwill of one and all and the confidence of, above all, Krishnamoorthy (Nedumudi Venu), a retired judge.
Somewhere in an Ooty boarding school, Jayaram is seen as a fatherly figure by Nandini (Baby Meenakshi). It's not too late before it's revealed that he is the girl's guardian looking after her on behalf of Krishnamoorthy, who is keeping a safe distance from the child for a mysterious reason.
Told in parallel is the story of a series of murders that are being investigated by the cops (among them is the smart Anusree). Before long, we have a clue that the murderer Vasudev (played by Samuthirakani) will be upon Krishnamoorthy and, consequentially, Jayaram.
The rest of the film is about who is Nandini and how Jayaram protects her against all odds, including his own handicap.
'Kanupapa', the dubbed version of the Malayalam blockbuster 'Oppam', throws up a range of elements that keep the audience root for the proceedings, more so in the second half. This crime thriller is a well-crafted product, knitting together human emotions in liberal doses.
Some of the nuances that strikes as the plot unravels are the subtle acting of Mohanlal as the blind man, the sheer magic of the camera, the balancing of intrigue, the occasional slickness and the portrayal of blindness.
There is no romanticization or degradation in how Jayaram's blindness is portrayed. He is a self-made man who is well-versed in a martial art (was it Kalaripayattu?), music and knows his surroundings keenly. The way he smells of genius, smells out dangers is intelligently portrayed.
The conversations at places look very unsettling, probably due to a lack of nativity. The bonding between the characters of Mohanlal and Anusree should have been better designed. The run-time could seem stretched to a section of audience.
The characterization of Vasudev (played by Samuthirakani) could have been more convincing, especially because he is a traumatized psychopath.
Performance-wise, Mohanlal stands out and once again we are reminded of his brilliant acting of yore. After 'Manamantha', 'Janatha Garage' and 'Manyam Puli', the Complete Actor is totally awesome.
All the other characters too spring to life in Priyadarshan’s hands, including Anusree, Samuthirakani, Nedumudi, Vimala Raman and Baby Meenakshi.
Technically, it is the camera angles that stand out. The frames are splendid and the close-ups are intense. The crime sequences and the climax too have been shot with precision. The editing is also crisp and the thriller mode is highlighted.
Music and BGM add to the mood of the narrative.
A crime thriller which is more screenplay-based than story-oriented. Mohanlal's nuanced portrayal of a blind man takes the cake.