Kapatadhaari Review & Rating
Kapatadhaari Review: Watchable Thriller With Strong Performances
An unhappy youngster who’s doing his job just going through motions. His plight of getting into the job he really loves. Resistances from the top. A sudden breakthrough. The youngster grabs the opportunity irrespective of ramifications. He succeeds in solving the puzzle at hands. He gets what he deserves. We have seen several crime thrillers like this. The said youngster is generally a police officer or an investigator/reporter in a wrong department. One of the grossly overrated but still good thrillers to come out of Kannada Cinema is Kavaludaari.
Now that it reached a wide audience and appreciation, our filmmakers wanted to remake it and hence Kavaludaari comes out as Kapatadhaari in Telugu. Unsurprisingly with an actor who needs to price his market worth once again plays the lead role in it. Sumanth is certainly one of the most talented actors of the generation of the early 2000s alongside Mahesh and Pawan Kalyan. Unfortunately,he didn't see the heights his contemporaries have seen.
Gautam is a traffic police but his mind is completely into the crime department. He wants to unravel mysteries and solve cases. But his desire is unfulfilled as the authorities don't allow him to have a transfer to the department he badly wants to work for. But that doesn't stop him from looking out for opportunities. One day he comes across a few skeletons but the case is quickly written off as it's from about 40 years ago.
But as Gautam is the hero of our story and (he might have read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) he pursues the case. But unlike several of our Tollywood heroes in these stories, Gautam is not superhuman in strength and ability. He's just sincere and has good observation skills alongside perseverance. He joins forces with GK, an editor of a magazine. As they probe into the case, they come across Ranjith, an older inspector who was investigating the 40 year old case.
Ranjith was obsessively involved with the case at that time but he couldn't progress beyond a point. Though unhappy, he had to forego the case once he loses a family member. He's now retired and is willing to help Gautam and GK in order to have a last hurrah. But the pressing question is: is the 40 year old crime still relevant after all these years? Next: Gautam being a traffic police, how much access could he have with the case files. And: the police ask - why should an age old case be reopened when the majority of the players might have gone into thin air due to obvious reasons?
So, how and if Gautam and his team solve the case and Gautam gets the posting he badly wants form the rest of the story.
Writing and direction
Story wise, Kapatadhaari is like any other mystery. But as the prime case in question is 40 year old one adds a bit of intrigue to it. In the original, the filmmaker due to the budgetary limitations of Kannada Cinema followed Scandinavian crime fiction template and it added an emotional layer to the film. But the same emotional connect is lost in translation for the Telugu version. But the biggest plus point of this film is the number of well executed and unguessable twists alongside straight up narration that doesn't deviate from the main point.
The narration takes time to take hold of the audience's attention. Once the audience invests in the story (here the directly cleverly used connecting logic to make the audience invest in an age old case), the proceedings move smoothly. Once Nasser's Ranjith enters the scene, the effect increases multifold. The screenplay followed the original to the most extent. There are certain lags in the second half which might have been acceptable in the Kannada version but could have been removed for a tighter script. No homework from the director here. The taking is good.
Sumanth is excellent in the role of Gautam. His way of underplaying the character worked well. But as the emotional connect missed from the remake, he might come across as a whining kid. Still, he covered these loopholes with his efforts. Nasser is the life and soul of this film and he brought his experience in matching the performance of Kannada legend Anant Nag. He added the required energy with his powerful screen presence. The dubbing is good.
Jaya Prakash as GK is terrific. Nanditha Sweta is okayish in a limited role. The actor who played the real man behind the crimes (to avoid spoilers, we are not revealing his name too) is good.
To sum up
The music is good. The cinematography is atmospheric. The art department has done a fine job. Editing could have been better. The production values are good.
For those who have not watched the original, Kapatadhaari is a good choice to spend some quality movie watching time in theatres this weekend. Those who watched the original will certainly find this lacking in that much of a punch. Anyway, it's a good leisurely watch. A commercial success will add to Sumanth's career as a star. But the role didn't do justice to his talents.
Rating 2.5 out of 5
Kapatadhaari Critic Reviews
Kapatadhaari User Reviews
Excellent Film with some good message
Excellent Film with some good message