I watched Kaaval and as you all anticipated, I felt bored watching it. Kaaval has predictable plotlines, twists we knew was coming from miles away and yes, is a ’90s movie. The slow narrative gave the film a sluggish feel. The dialogues were also a bit lousy, except for a few mass dialogues that did kind of work. But the rest of it was really underwhelming.
Here’s my take on Kaaval (even though I’m a bit late to the party):
Think Suresh Gopi, think saviour complex. That’s what Kaaval is all about. Thamban (Suresh Gopi) takes that up the saviour role when the family is unable to stand up for themselves. The trope is cliched and overused, so it didn’t really bring about a lot of excitement. This saviour complex steals the spotlight from the rest of the characters.
In one of the scenes, we see Muthumani (Mary Anthony) unable to defend herself when the policeman passes slanderous remarks. We also see Anthony’s daughter (Renji Panicker) being harassed every day and even attempting to end her life rather than making attempts to save herself. There are multiple mentions of treating women as mere objects who have to be ‘saved’ and ‘protected’.
The cast was just decent. Suresh Gopi tries his best to explore the lost actor in him and is successful to some extent. Renji Panicker also does good in his role. Other than that, everyone else was just forgettable.
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Shankar Ramakrishnan and Sreejith Ravi had characters, which if explored and written better, would have delivered strong performances. The typical extra action of fire following Suresh Gopi whenever he says something impactful and the recreation of the aesthetic colours, orange and red which are usually attributed to heroes have also been portrayed here. The stellar performances by some including Mary Anthony have tried to make up for the mediocre acting by Rachel Anthony (Rachel David).
Stereotypical Police Brutality
Police brutality is shown in a stereotypical manner. It’s obvious that when we have a saviour figure coming in, there are policemen being brutal to the family. With the introduction of several goons, we also know that the villagers are threatened and they do not get protection from the police. Instead, they are tortured by them. The actions of the policemen and their revenge-seeking attitude towards Thamban lead to their mistreatment of him. With police brutality being a serious issue nowadays, the movie normalizes the issue.
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The melodrama happens largely due to sloppy writing. The film’s intention was mainly to provide Suresh Gopi with a film that brought back the stardom he had in the ’90s. That’s why we see the cliched route of a family in danger and a saviour fighting against all odds to save them.
The only positives from the film would be the music and BGM by Ranjin Raj (previously associated with Kaanekkaane and Joseph). The compositions were great and added some grace to the film. The fight choreography is also notable. When one weighs down the positives and negatives, it’s a victory very close to its loss.