Director : Akku Akbar
Main Cast : Jayaram, Padmapriya,Baby Nivedhitha,Nedumudi etc.
Story- Akku Akbar
Screenplay,dialogues : K.Gireesh Kumar
Review by : Unni / www.Kerala9.com
Akku Akbar, who earlier used to direct movies (‘Mazhathullikilukkam’, ‘Sadanandante Samayam’ etc) as part of the Akbar-Jose duo, made his independent directorial debut with the Hindi movie ‘Gauri the Unborn’, before making the blockbuster Malayalam movie ‘Veruthe Oru Bharya’. And now, Akku Akbar teams up once again with scenarist K.Gireesh Kumar (who had scripted ‘Veruthe Oru Bharya’, of course after scripting flops like ‘Amritham’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and who had of course scripted ‘Gauri the Unborn’ too) and delivers in Malayalam the remake of ‘Gauri the Unborn’. The re-make version, ‘Kaanakanmani’ turns out to be a film that falls short of expectations on many counts but still is OK for one-time viewing.
‘Kaanakanmani’ tells the story of a couple, Roy (Jayaram) and Maya (Padmapriya), and their young daughter Anakha (Nivedhitha), who happen to encounter some very strange happenings. The family, happy and leading a happy and comfortable life in the city, happens to plan a trip abroad, of course to help Roy get the time and the mood to complete a plan (he is a successful architect) that’s needed urgently by his company. But Anakha insists that they should go to a particular bungalow, which of course is part of Roy’s ancestral property and which is now lying vacant and is put up for sale. Roy gives in to his daughter’s insistence and decides to spend 3 or 4 days in that bungalow as a prelude to their foreign trip. Once they reach the bungalow, which was being looked after by a caretaker Bhaskaran (Suraaj Venjaramoodu), things take a very eerie turn. Anakha starts behaving strangely and very soon Roy and Maya come to realize that their daughter is now possessed, with the spirit of the child whom they had aborted some years back. And then things start going the wrong way for Roy, Maya and Anakha (now haunted by the spirit of Shivani, the child who was ‘murdered’ in the womb).
Well, coming to the craft of the movie, the film is not totally unimpressive. The scenes are well conceived and shot, the performances are fine, the director is in control of things especially when compared to the other Onam releases. But still, the film lacks something vital and fails to impress on the whole. Those who go expecting the usual kind of Jayaram brand family flick would of course be disappointed. And those who go to see a horror flick, led on by word-of-mouth publicity, too may not be impressed either. So, whom does the film impress? An unanswerable question indeed.
Of course ‘Kaanakanmani’ has a message to deliver, regarding abortion, which of course is done quite emphatically. But on the whole, as a commercial movie, the film is just so so.
Jayaram, Padmapriya and Baby Nivedhitha do full justice to their respective roles. Suraaj is his usual self. Nedumudi Venu as the heroine’s father is good. Vijayaraghavan as Roy’s father is very much impressive. Biju Menon doesn’t have much to do. Sukumari is her usual self.
Cinematography by Vipin Mohan is good and he has managed to give the kind of shots that the director had perhaps desired for the movie. Art-direction by Suresh Kollam and the editing too is good.
Background music is OK and suits the mood of the film. Of the songs, set to tune by Shyam Dharman, “Muththe Muththe…”, is a soft and usual kind of lullaby while the other song, “Penpoovo ponne…” is just an ordinary song and could even have been avoided.
As for the story, by Akku Akbar himself, it’s OK. Akku Akbar’s intentions, that of conveying a message against abortion, should be appreciated. The film does that very effectively. But the way the plot is developed, things fare poor and unimpressive. A movie that’s neither here nor there, that’s what ‘Kaanakanmani’ is. Just like ‘Gauri the Unborn’, the original Hindi movie, ‘Kaanakanmani’ too fails to impress as a movie on the whole. It’s neither for the family audience nor for lovers of horror films. Scenarist Gireesh Kumar doesn’t seem to have taken extra pains in adapting the original screenplay (which he had written), except in bringing in the family element and all (the hero being a Christian and the heroine being a Hindu and the clash between the family members and all). ‘Gauri the Unborn’ had many flaws that could have been rectified in ‘Kaanakanmani’. But neither Gireesh Kumar nor Akku Akbar has bothered to do so and hence the film fails to rise up to our expectations. (Hey! Did we have any expectations about the movie? Of course. We expected it to be a family flick at least. )
Of course Akku Akbar is well in control of the proceedings and manages to elicit good performances out of the artists and ensure full support on the technical side. But he could have made his scenarist think a bit more imaginatively and work out things in a better manner.
Overall verdict- Faithful remake; but misses the mark!