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King of Kotha Review: King of Kotha failed to beat the hype, a predictable gangster drama that has no impact

King of Kotha Review: King of Kotha failed to beat the hype, a predictable gangster drama that has no impact. 


•Language: MALAYALAM 

•Duration: 02 Hours 56 Minutes. 

•Genre: Action Thriller. 


1: Direction 

2: Performance of Shabeer Kallarakkal 

3: Music and background score 

4: Cinematography 

5: Action Sequences 


1: Predictable Story 

2: Average Screenplay 

3: The duration of the film felt lengthy 

4: Editing 

5: Art Direction 

  • ONE WORD: King of Kotha failed to beat the hype, a predictable gangster drama that has no impact. 


Shahul Hassan is a circle inspector who starts working in Kotha town. A gangster named Kannan bhai humiliates him. Shahul’s colleague Tony tells him about the story of Kotha, which involves Kannan and another gangster named Raju. Shahul decides to bring Raju back from exile and make him fight against Kannan. What will happen to Kotha after the comeback of Raju? 


King of Kotha is directed by veteran film director Joshiy’s son Abhilash Joshiy. The script is written by Abhilash N. Chandran who had previously written the script for the hit film Porinju Mariam Jose. King of Kotha is produced by Dulquer Salmaan’s Wayfarer Film and Zee Studios. Jakes Bejoy and Shaan Rahmaan composed the musical works and Nimish Ravi did the cinematography for the film. The film has a running time of 175 minutes and as a Pan-Indian movie, the film is running in theatres with a U/A censor certificate. King of Kotha is released in languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi. 

When King of Kotha was announced the film had massive hype and like all I was too excited to see Dulquer Salmaan doing a gangster movie with action. Also, hitmaker Joshiy’s son Abhilash Joshiy doing his first film with Dulquer raised my expectations but unfortunately, King Of Kotha had disappointed me. The central attraction of King of Kotha was Dulquer Salmaan doing a gangster role and it creates the hype but in the end, I would say the film failed to beat the hype. There is nothing surprising in the movie, it’s like a usual gangster film that follows the template of old formulas. The main problem of King of Kotha is the shoddy script and the writing of Abhilash N. Chandran was poor and it sadly doesn’t fit for a thrilling gangster film. From the beginning till the end, everything is predictable in King of Kotha. There is no space in the script to give something new, the template of the movie is something which we have seen in many films. The predictability in the script stood as the prior problem for the King of Kotha and it had killed the thrill and moments. 

The direction of Abhilash Joshiy was fine but the weak script did not give him the chance to show his skills. He has the potential to do a mass thrilling movie but he should be careful in choosing the right script. As a newcomer, his making style had quality and he amazingly utilized the stardom of Dulquer. In King of Kotha, he blended the making style with both drama and actions and the direction had the right momentum. But the limping script was killing the path of Abhilash Joshiy’s direction, still, it’s a good start for him and he should focus more on selecting an engaging storyline. 

The storyline is filled with factors like friendship, betrayal, parenthood and love and none of the elements had a wow factor. The screenplay was written in a fragile way, the scenes and emotions in the film lacked an influence and felt like watching a regular drama with a familiar premise. In the film, the scriptwriter focused more on the life of the protagonist like the rise and fall of the hero. But how he became a criminal, why people fear him,  the unexpected incidents coming into his life and gradually how the hero fell down don’t have any kind of impact. From the beginning, the writings went with the same flow and continued in the same graph. The whole first half concentrated on showing these things and at many points, the film was getting slow in the first half. The first half ended on a promising note but the script followed the same style in the second half. 

There were many possible slots in the script to make the movie engaging but the writer didn’t make use of it. The backstory of Raju to Raju Madrasi was a great space in the script and I thought the scriptwriter would do wonders in those portions but the ultimate result was a letdown. While watching King of Kotha a satisfied feeling won’t be felt and I was able to sense the vibe of incompleteness. The reason behind the important scenes was not valid and couldn’t digest the shown explanations and the scriptwriter was failing miserably to give convincing explanations. In the script, there are some twists here and there but none of those scenes have the strength to lift the movie. No sort of proper thrill was able to be given by the King of Kotha. I felt like watching a typical action movie that had no surprising elements. The lack of high moments and the feeling of lag here and there also made my viewing experience uninteresting.  

The narrative of the film is anticipated to be engaging and taut, yet it falls short of expectations. The storyline lacks the desired level of intensity and crispness, and is hindered by a sluggish screenplay. Despite being high on action, the film fails to captivate its audience due to its predictable and unengaging plot. The director maintains a consistent tempo throughout the film, resulting in repetitive scenes and a lack of twists, leaving viewers feeling as though the actors are merely going through the motions. The film is a typical gangster drama, with a narrative that fails to distinguish itself from others in the genre. The pace of the film is slow, requiring a significant amount of patience to endure. Furthermore, the climax is unnecessarily prolonged, adding to the predictability of the film.


Dulquer Salmaan’s performance and his screen presence for King of Kotha were impressive. I liked the way he undertook the character of Raju alias Raju Madrasi. It’s not common to see Dulquer doing action roles and overall he managed to do a fair job. The acting was intense and Dulquer had given his best for the character. His expression was realistic in the important scenes and the intense look with a fearless face was beautifully acted by Dulquer Salmaan. The way he did action sequences was thrilling and the dialogue delivery had flawless timing. Unfortunately, the script of the film was not solid so the performance of Dulquer did not give the full impact. Only due to his screen presence the King of Kotha came out into the level of a watchable movie. 

Shabeer Kallarakkal after the known role of Dancing Rose in Sarpatta Parambarai is back as Kannan did a brilliant performance, as a villain he stole the show. His acting was too good and as a villain the way he performed deserves applause. His facial expression and how his character fights against the protagonist was entertaining to watch. Actually, more than Dulquer I loved the performance of Shabeer Kallarakkal. He has the capability to perform well and I hope to see him doing some powerful characters in the future. 

Nyla Usha had an important character in the film but the performance didn’t impress much. Her character was written badly and the performance also didn’t have any kind of influence. Chemban Vinod Jose as Ranjith did a notable performance and the shades of villain were nicely acted by him. Gokul Suresh as the police inspector did a satisfying performance teaming with Tamil actor Prasanna, both of them did justice to their roles. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Tara didn’t have many things to do in the film and the overall performance was ordinary. Anika Surendhran as sister and Sajitha Madathil as a mother character did a fair supporting job. The performance of Shammy Thilakan gave a mass feel and his expressions and actions looked rigid.  


The musical work for the film is composed by Jakes Bejoy and Shaan Rahman. The background score for the film is tuned by Jakes Bejoy. King of Kotha consists of two songs.

The song “Kalapakkara” sung by Shreya Ghoshal, Benny Dayal and Jakes Bejoy creates the ambience of an item song. The song was good and it matched the situation well. The dance of Rithika Singh was awesome and Dulquer had done a decent job. The vocals of Shreya Ghosal were nice to hear and the lyrics also looked evident. Another song ‘Ee Ulakin’ composed by Shaan Rahman was melodious, the song was lifting the vibe and mood of romance. The vocals of Sreejish Subramanian were perfect for the song and his sound has given more beauty and feel to the song. The visuals also looked romantic and the combination of scenes of Dulquer and Aishwarya Lekshmi was attractive to watch. The flute portions in the song were so pleasant and the lyrics poured with a romantic feel. The song ‘People of Kotha’ has energetic beats and Jakes Bejoy had done an incredible job to boost the impact. 

The background score for the film was tuned by Jake Bejoy and it was outstanding. The background tunes helped the movie to maintain a balance and in the fight sequences the use of background score helped to give some thrilling moments. Most of the important scenes weren’t raised to the right level to give an impact, still, the background score helped to hold our attention. The vision tunes used in the action sequences in the climax were so catchy and I loved the way Jake Bejoy composed them. The climax scenes were crammed with heavy brutal action sequences and for all those fight scenes the right appropriate background tunes were given by Jakes Bejoy. 

The cinematography by Nimish Ravi was brilliant, his frames had the power to grab our attention, especially during the fight sequences. The sudden camera moves, placement of the camera and close-up shots of Dulqer came out nicely. The modest editing of Uma Sankar Satapathy was a problem for King of Kotha because the duration of the movie was too long and the editor should have been focused more on trimming some parts for a smooth watch. The sets created by the Art Department looked unrealistic, the 80’s time in the movie felt artificial. The action choreographer had done an incredible job, I loved the action sequences in the film. It was thrilling and the fight sequences had many different elements which used to come rare in Malayalam movies. The climax fight sequences are a major highlight of King of Kotha. 


So, the film King of Kotha had given me a disappointing experience because of the tiring weak story and screenplay. The direction of Abhilash Pillai was okay but the script didn’t have a proper impact and sadly the writings of Abhilash N. Chandran didn’t have the right components to give an engaging cinematic experience. The film is predictable, slow, and lengthy and also creates a lagging mood at many points. If you are a fan of Dulquer Salmaan, you can book the tickets for King of Kotha but don’t expect much from this mediocre gangster film. 


RATING: 2.5/5

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