Kanupapa - Movie Review
Cast: Mohanlal, Baby Meenakshi, Vimala Raman, Anusree, Samuthirakani, Nedumudi Venu, and others
Story: Govind Vijayan
Music: 4 Musics (Eldhose, Jim, Biby and Justin)
Dialogues: M Rajasekhar Reddy Male
Cinematography: N. K. Ekambaram
Editor : M. S. Ayyappan Nair
Ex.Producer: Srinivasa Murthy N
Presents: Overseas Network Entertainment
Screenplay, direction: Priyadarshan
Release date: Feb 03, 2017
The story revolves around four characters in the main: Jayaram (Mohanlal), Vasudev (Samuthirakani), Justice Krishnamoorthy (Nedumudi Venu) and Nandini (Baby Meenakshi). Working as a lift operator, blind Jayaram is known for his honesty and humaneness, which is why Krishnamoorthy has entrusted him with the task of acting as Nandini's guardian. The retired judge wants nobody to know where Nandini is staying (she is put up in a boarding school in Ooty) because that would put her life in danger.
Meanwhile, the cops have discovered that a series of murders have a common link: the murdered ones hail from the same family. The mysterious killer Vasudev is on the run, but he is also out to get Krishnamoorthy and Nandini. The smart and gutsy Jayaram's task is cut out. He has taken up the task of protecting Nandini, but he faces obstacles in the form of callous cops in his battle against the unforgiving psychopath Vasudev.
The biggest USP of 'Kanupapa', the dubbed version of 'Oppam' (Malayalam), has to be Superstar Mohanlal, who slides with utter ease into the role of a blind lift operator at the receiving end of the mad vengeance of a psychopathic killer. He is blind, but he is not clueless. The cops victimize him, but he has got loads of guts. The film starts of like a feel-good one, complete with the Complete Actor breaking into 'Chinnamma' while crossing the banks with scores of fellow ferry travellers. When at work, his body language tells us he is not only alert but also earnest. His character is not larger-than-life, but we are sure of Jayaram's guts nevertheless.
So far, so good!
While being a crime-emotional drama, 'Kanupapa' somewhere forgets to be a thriller. Therefore, once the identity of the killer is revealed, the screenplay should have been meatier in terms of two elements: action, and dialogues. Jayaram may be super-smart thanks to his extra-sensory powers, but should he have come across as someone without a trace of vulnerability? 'Kanupapa', at one level, is a rehashed revenge story from the '90s. The pre-climax portions should have got the substance right. For example, the lady cop's character (played by Anusree) shouldn't have been dull.
Samuthirakani's characterisation is a weak spot. His body language and ominous looks make him look like a professional killer rather than a loner with an agonised past. At places, the conversations between the main characters, be it between Nedumudi Venu and Mohanlal, Anusree and Mohanlal, or Baby Nandini and Mohanlal, lack either in nativity or imagination or both.The bit characters (like the two lovers who are caught in a bedroom) don't help the matters either.
A splendid performance from Mohanlal covers these flaws. The complete actor once again comes up with superb act. Through out the film, he never goes off-guard in playing the role of blind person. Near spotless performance. The girl who has played the kid is also brilliant.
The technical aspects shine. It's the camera angles that go the extra mile. The re-recording part adds heft to a lot of proceedings. Director Priyadarshan handles the suspense element well despite slow proceedings.
Verdict: Mohanlal's exceptional performance is mainstay of this crime thriller. Despite shortcomings like slow pace and unnatural dialogue, his acting makes Priyadarshan's 'Kanupapa' a decent watch.