Kannur Squad Review: An engaging investigative crime drama with the brilliant performance of Mammootty

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1991
A Review by Arunjyothi. R 1

Review for KANNUR SQUAD: An engaging investigative crime drama with the brilliant performance of Mammootty. 

  • REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R 

•Language: MALAYALAM  

•Duration: 02 Hours 41 Minutes. 

•Genre: Action Crime Drama. 

•POSITIVES: 

1: Direction 

2: Screenplay 

3: Performance of Mammootty and other actors 

4: Cinematography 

5: Songs and Background score 

6: Editing 

7: Thrilling Second half 

NEGATIVES

1: Predictable story 

2: The first half was a little slow-paced 

ONE WORD: An engaging investigative crime drama with the brilliant performance of Mammootty. 

STORY IDEA

The film “Kannur Squad” revolves around ASI George (played by Mammootty) and his highly skilled team, consisting of Jayan (Rony David), Jose (Azees Nedumangad), and Shafi (Shabareesh Varama). Renowned for their impressive track record in solving numerous cases, the Kannur Squad is faced with a challenging new assignment. A wealthy individual residing in Kasargod falls victim to a heinous crime, resulting in his untimely demise and the brutal torture of his family members. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, SP Manu Needhi Cholan entrusts the case to the capable hands of the Kannur Squad.

Given a tight timeframe of ten days, the Kannur Squad embarks on a relentless pursuit to uncover the culprits responsible for this heinous act. As their investigation progresses, they unearth crucial evidence that points towards the involvement of individuals located in Northern India. Consequently, George and his team are compelled to undertake a lengthy journey from Kerala to Northern India in order to apprehend the criminals.

•DETAIL REVIEW

The film Kannur Squad is directed by Roby Varghese Raj. Muhammed Shafi wrote the story and screenplay for the film along with the Malayalam actor Rony David Raj. The movie is produced by Mammootty under his own production company Mammootty Kampnay. The movie is distributed by Dulquer Salmaan’s Wayfarer Films and Truth Global Films distributes the film in UAE. With a running time of 144 minutes, the film is currently in theatres with a censor certificate of U/A. 

Kannur Squad can be best described as an investigative crime drama that boasts a brilliant script and direction. Personally, I found the film to be highly engaging, thrilling, and filled with numerous standout moments. The exceptional direction by Roby Varghese Raj, coupled with the well-crafted script by Muhammed Shafi and Rony David Raj, serves as the primary driving force behind the success of Kannur Squad. The film strikes a perfect balance between its making style and scriptwriting, resulting in a truly captivating and intriguing cinematic experience. Falling under the genre of investigative crime drama, Kannur Squad follows the journey of five dedicated police officers as they relentlessly pursue a group of murderers. Spanning from Kerala to North India, the film takes viewers on a lengthy and unforgettable journey. I must emphasize that the team behind Kannur Squad delivers a truly remarkable cinematic experience. The film is replete with many memorable moments, and the stellar performances by Mammootty and the rest of the cast make us feel like active participants in their ambitious quest for justice.

The filmmaking of Roby Varghese Raj was exceptional as it effectively established a strong connection between the audience and the characters and situations portrayed. The film’s realistic approach and high-quality direction greatly enhanced my viewing experience. Despite its lengthy duration of 144 minutes, the film managed to captivate my attention throughout, without any moments of lag or boredom. From start to finish, director Roby Varghese Raj executed the film with great passion, providing convincing explanations for each scene, thereby fully immersing me in the unfolding events. Additionally, Raj’s meticulous attention to detail added an extra layer of intrigue to the viewing experience of Kannur Squad. The unpredictable nature of the plot, coupled with the team’s compelling efforts to capture the criminals, created a sense of anticipation and excitement. While the first half of the film flowed smoothly, the second half introduced a shift in the narrative, presenting more intense and crucial scenes that were executed with impeccable cinematic quality. Initially, I anticipated a more dramatic storyline, but to my pleasant surprise, the director skillfully incorporated realistic and thrilling elements to engage the audience, resulting in my enthusiastic applause.

The screenplay writers have demonstrated exceptional skill in their work, as the script of Kannur Squad possesses an extraordinary level of power, captivating our attention effortlessly. The characters of the Kannur Squad, consisting of four police officers, have been meticulously developed, allowing us to truly connect with their emotions. Throughout their investigative journey, their struggles, commitment, honesty, and desperation are portrayed with utmost authenticity, enabling viewers to witness the unwavering dedication of these true law enforcement professionals. Inspired by a real-life crime incident, the story of Kannur Squad prioritizes realism over fiction, ensuring a practical and collective experience for the audience. The scriptwriters have conducted thorough research on the case, studying how actual police officers conducted their investigation, the locations they visited, the obstacles they encountered, and ultimately, how they apprehended the criminals. These findings have been carefully and flawlessly incorporated into the screenplay, resulting in a narrative that closely mirrors reality without any exaggeration.

The film took ample time to establish its storyline, resulting in a slow-paced first half. However, the second half of the film was truly remarkable due to an unexpected shift in narrative. The initial crime drama pattern gradually transformed before the interval, leading to an unpredictable and sudden change throughout the entire movie. The latter half became increasingly thrilling, with a heightened intensity in the investigation method. Thanks to the brilliant script and direction, the film offered numerous intriguing moments and effectively created a tense atmosphere. While it was easy to anticipate that the Kannur Squad would ultimately apprehend the criminals, there remained a lingering question in my mind as to whether they would be caught or if the culprit would somehow escape. Nevertheless, the film’s predictability did not detract from the overall viewing experience, as it was supported by an exceptional script and direction. The ending was truly impressive, and the background dialogues delivered by actor Kishore, who portrayed the character of SP Manu Needhi Cholan, provided a wholly satisfying sensation.

The director’s instructions to the actors to portray their characters realistically were clearly evident in the film, adding a special touch to Kannur Squad. The movie showcases exceptional performances, particularly in the combination scenes featuring Mammootty, Rony David, Shabareesh Varma, and Azees Nedumangad, which are sure to captivate and impress viewers. In the second half of the film, the characters played by Jayan (Rony David) and Jose (Azees Nedumangad) engage in a fight, with Mammootty’s character ASI George Martin stepping in to resolve the conflict. The scene depicting his efforts to console and motivate them for teamwork is one of the film’s highlights, leaving a lasting impression. Additionally, the Sumo car featured in the film serves as another standout element, best experienced on the big screen. While the plot of Kannur Squad shares similarities with the Malayalam film Kuttavum Shikshayum, it distinguishes itself through its unique approach to filmmaking. Unlike Kuttavum Shikshayum, which left me with a lukewarm feeling due to its slow pace, Kannur Squad strikes a perfect balance between dramatic and thrilling scenes, eliminating any concerns of sluggishness. The film is devoid of unnecessary or glorified hero moments, instead focusing on delivering a compelling narrative with well-developed characters and situations, all without compromising on quality.

•PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS

Kannur Squad has the casting of Mammootty, Rony David, Azees Nedumangad, Shabareesh Varama, Vijayaraghavan, Kishore, and Deepak Parambol in the main leads. Mammootty as ASI George Martin delivered a magnifying realistic performance. The way Mammootty undertook his character and the kind of performance he showcased was once again proving that he is a versatile actor. The facial expression of Mammootty was unbelievable in the film and the emotional scenes were acted out flawlessly. The various emotions presented in his character were acted out easily by Mammootty. The action sequences of Mammootty were also thrilling to watch and his adequate screen presence was seen throughout the entire film. The dialogue delivery and its timing were easily handled by Mammootty and the combination scene with Rony David, Azees and Shabareesh was engaging and thrilling to watch. Like always Mammootty had given his best and I’m sure his character ASI Geroge Martin will be remembered in the list of his best characters. Rony David as Jayan delivered an impressive performance. In the film, his character had both emotional and aggressive sides and Rony David was very successful in acting out every emotion. His combination scene with Azees was good and the screen space with Mammootty was nice to watch. Azees Nedumangad did a noteworthy performance and his acting was completely realistic. In the emotional scenes, the acting of Azees was supreme and the scenes with Mammootty were enjoyable to watch. He is very talented and I hope he will get good character in future. Shabareesh Varma as Shafi also did a fair performance, the action scenes and the combination scenes with Mammootty came out well. Vijayaraghavan and Kishore’s supporting characters were important and both of them did complete justice to their respective characters. The actor who did the main villain role also delivered a notable performance, his expressions and voice modulation was matching for the character. 

MUSIC AND TECHNICAL ASPECTS

The musical work for the film is composed by Sushin Shyam which includes the background score. Kannur Squad has less importance in songs but more priority is given to background score. At first, when I heard the song ‘Mrudhu Bhaave’ sung by the composer Sushin Shyam it seemed average to my ears but in the theatre, the song had a unique feel and synched totally with the situation. The title song of the movie was catchy and it was nice to hear. The background score has more role than the tracks, every background tune was perfectly composed by Sushin Shyam by knowing the situation. In the second half the movie has many crucial scenes and to give the feel of intense the background score stood higher. The emotional scenes were enriched with the right set of background tunes and one will be able to sense a kind of sympathy for the characters. In the action scene the beat mode of the background score was making the scene more impressive. Overall, more than the songs the background score was highlighting and it’s one of the winning positive factors of Kannur Squad. The cinematography by Muhammed Rahil is the next positive factor of Kannur Squad. As a movie with a travel outline the visuals should have the ability to draw our attention so the work of Muhammed Rahil has that strength to make the movie powerful. The frames of Northern India were amazingly captured according to the story and the camera work in the action sequences was also nice to watch. All the night shots in the film have the right set of lighting techniques and the scenes in which the central characters capture a criminal inside a small village were outstanding. The closeup shots of actors exhibited their natural acting and the various wide-angle frames in the film were impressive. The editing by Praveen Prabhakar was neat and clean without errors in transitions and the length of 144 minutes never felt as lengthy. The colour grading and locations in the film were also imposing to set the right mood and ambience. 

CONCLUSION:

The film Kannur Squad provided me with an absolutely fantastic and fulfilling cinematic experience, thanks to its exceptionally well-written script, incredible direction, and outstanding performances by the actors. Notably, Mammootty’s brilliant portrayal adds another captivating element to the Kannur Squad. This engaging investigative crime drama fearlessly depicts the challenges faced by four dedicated police officers who refuse to back down from their duties. Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly recommend Kannur Squad to everyone, confidently asserting that it is one of the finest Malayalam movies of the year.

VERDICT: MUST-WATCH 

RATING: 4/5

  • A REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R