Kayamkulam Kochunni Review & Rating|
Kayamkulam Kochunni Review: Nivin Pauly Brings Alive The Legendary Outlaw
The image that flashes before the eyes of all those who grew up listening about his heroics in various versions and watching various series and reading about him in the Aitihyamala collected and written by Kottarathil Sankunni is fully realized on the screen through Nivin Pauly in the Rosshan Andrews magnum opus.
It is the tale of the legendary outlaw, a highwayman, Kochunni, right from his childhood through to the times of his turning a robber and the treachery by his own men. Rather wisely, the makers came up with a disclaimer that the film is fictional and have clearly taken some creative liberties about the story, that keeps you on the edge of the seat in every scene.
The film starts with Kochunni leaving his native village when his father was brutally punished for thievery. The young Kochunni starts working in a local shop. With the advice given by Janaki (Priya Anand in a brilliant earthy role) who was smitten by him, he learns tricks in Kalarippayattu from a martial arts expert, Thangal played with authenticity by Babu Antony. Having seen dire poverty and the casteist social order of the day and Kochunni’s mind was set on helping the poor.
It wasn't obviously liked by the upper caste landlords. Those were the times when exploitation and untouchability were peaking. As it is shown in the film, even the Britishers were in supporting the upper caste groups. It is after some dramatic turnarounds that Kochunni becomes a robber, that he was labeled as later in history.
Though the basic story of Kochunni is known to most of the Malayalis, what makes the film engaging is how the various sequences of events get unraveled at an even pace. The highlight sequences are spaced in 10-15 minute intervals for the most part. The pace drops at certain junctures of the story only to give the viewers the ultimate adrenaline rush towards the end with some high-octane action. It is a clever ploy on the part of the screenplay writers Bobby and Sanjay.
Mohanlal's Ithikkara Pakki makes an entry at the right time and gives the film with the right amount of push. Gopi Sunder's rousing music adds magic to each of the frames. The scenes are sure to give goosebumps. The action sequences do justice to the genre and there are enough moments for viewers to be entertained, gasped in disbelief as was promised by the scale of the production.
Nivin Pauly has realized the legendary character on the screen with the right kind of verve. He has shown the variations in expressions the character demands as the time passes by. The body language that of a ferocious highwayman was well captured. Sunny Wayne's villainous Keshavakurup is terrific. Bobby Antony as Thangal makes the character believable some efficient acting. Priya Anand is quite likable in the limited role.
The music by Gopi Sunder is brilliant overall. The score he gave for the thumping action episodes and the entry of Laletta's Pakki is sure to remain in the annals of Malayalam Cinema. Binod Pradhan, Nirav Shah, and Sudheer Palsane handled the cinematography with utmost care. The production values are something to cherish for in the times to come.
Aren't there any negatives in the film? Yes. There are. The pace drops in the first half after the initial twenty minutes. But it sets up the adrenal pumping interval block. Mohanlal's dance scenes are unnecessary to the film's central point. But they entertain and keeps his fans satisfied. But the research done by the directorial and writers team can be seen all over the screen. The period atmosphere is authentically recreated.
On a whole, Kayamkulam Kochunniis a film to break all sorts of box office records what with Nivin Pauly's brilliant acting, Mohanlal's electrifying extended cameo, Rosshan Andrews' top-notch directing, breathtaking action choreography. Despite the few and far between flaws, Kayamkulam Kochunni delivers what is promised. Go and be part of history making. Literally!
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The epic period drama based on the life of the legendary highwayman, Kayamkulam Kochunni, who has a status of a folk hero in Kerala hits the screens today with the early morning shows. Starring Nivin Pauly and Laletta in a superb cameo, it is the most expensive Malayalam film ever made. The film opened to positive talk and the general consensus is that Kayamkulam Kochunni is going to be a winner at the box office. The Rosshan Andrews directorial is one of the most eagerly awaited movies this season. Mohanlal's entry as Ithikkara Pakki is sure to give goosebumps.
The first half of the film is said to be above average with the character intro and the rise of Kayamkulam Kochunni as the thief he is. But it's the interval block where Mohanlal makes an entry as Pakki and the swag he displays take the film to the next level. Nivin Pauly comes out firing on all cylinders and Priya Anand is good in the role of the female lead. Mohanlal's entry scene is the highlight of the film in the first half with some of the coolest music. Sunny Wayn and Babu Antony have done a commendable job.
For all the hype surrounding the budget, effects, and cast, the makers of Kayamkulam Kochunni didn't forget the basics. They have delivered a satisfying watch. With an above average to good word of mouth, Kayamkulam Kochunni is sure to take a good opening. But the second half lacks the required emotional impact. But Mohanlal's Pakki scenes and the climax are quite good. Top notch technical side including action blocks and VFX covering up flaws to an extent.
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What is Kayamkulam Kochunni about?
Do you know that a Muslim has a Murthy in a temple? Yes. It is true and that man is Kayakulam Kochunni. As the director of the film based on his life, Roshan Andrews told Mohanlal in a leaked dubbing studio conversation, one of Kerala temples has Kayamkulam Kochunni as one of the murthis. So, what's so great about this Kayamkulam Kochunni? Let's find out.
Kayamkulam Kochunni is a famed highwayman who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor during the British Raj in the early 19th century Central Travancore. He is the real example of Robinhood legend. He was a man in flesh and blood unlike some of the other legends. He walked among us. He lived among us and still remains among us through his legendary deeds.
Star hero Nivin Pauly who declared that he tries not to repeat himself plays the legendary character's big screen interpretation. Superstar Mohanlal appears in an electrifying cameo as another highwayman Ithikkara Pakki. It is to be seen if this is an extended cameo when the film hits the screens. That the expectations on the film are sky high is an understatement.
And quite obviously, it is the most expensive Malayalam movie till date. Gokulam Gopalan bankrolls this epic and ambitious project on Sree Gokulam Movies. He pooled in some of the best talents in the industry for this film. Priya Anand plays the female lead in Kayamkulam Kochunni.
What to expect from Kayamkulam Kochunni?
The tale of a legend
Kayamkulam Kochunni narrates the tale of a legend who rose to such heights and helped the poor to such a level that he has a murthi in a temple. He is God among men despite being labeled a feared highwayman. Kochunni experienced abject poverty in his younger days which led to his aversion to misers, moneylenders, and landlords. His story has become part of folklore. A shrine dedicated to Kayamkulam Kochunni is attached to Edappara Maladevar Nada Temple near Kozhencherry. It dates back more than a century and a half. Such was his impact on the common men.
Nivin Pauly is one of the highly rated young actors in Malayalam Cinema. This multiple-award-winning actor plays the role of a folk hero who lived in the 1800s. With subtle and intense performances he is capable of, we can rest assured that Kayamkulam Kochunni will be unveiled before our eyes by Nivin. He is sure to ace the role of the legendary highwayman who was adored by millions.
Rosshan Andrews has a CV which shows a varied range of works. He now turns his attention to the legendary hero Kayamkulam Kochunni and is given an absolute free-hand by the producers. It can be evidenced by the fact that this movie is produced on a massive scale with the highest budget allocated for a Malayalam movie.
And as an added bonus, we can see the living legend Mohanlal and Nivin Pauly sharing the screen space and screen time.
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