Review for KADUVA:
•Duration: 02 Hours 35 Minutes.
•Genre: ACTION THRILLER.
•REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI.R
1: PERFORMANCE OF PRITHVIRAJ SUKUMARAN
3: STORY AND DIALOGUES
5: ACTIONS AND FIGHT SEQUENCES
6: BACKGROUND SCORE
1: ABOVE-AVERAGE SCREENPLAY
2: WORST LIGHTING
4: SECOND HALF LACKS AN IMPACT
•ONE WORD: Terrific actions and fights of Prithviraj make Kaduva watchable.
KADUVA tells the story of Kaduvakunnel Kuriachan, a rich planter living in Pala of Kottayam district. He is fearless and leads a happy life. Soon for a reason, he was forced to have a rivalry with I.G. Joseph Chandy and this will lead to turn the life of Kaduvakunnel Kuriachan upside down but he will face it fearlessly. What’s the reason behind their fight, how Kuriachan will face the obstacles and how he will end his threats is what the movie is all about.
•ANALYSIS OF THE DIRECTION, STORY, SCREENPLAY AND DIALOGUES:
The film Kaduva is directed by Shaji Kailas and the story, screenplay and dialogues are written by Jinu V. Abraham. The film is produced by Supriya Menon and Listin Stephen under Prithviraj Productions and Magic Frames. The film is distributed by the Magic Frames of Listin Stephen and with a running time of 154 minutes, the film is currently running in theatres.
After a long nine years, Shaji Kailas is now back with a Malayalam movie, this time joining once again with Prithviraj Sukumaran after the disaster Malayalam film Simhasanam released in the year 2012. When looking at the recent film of Shaji Kailas it’s visible that his graph was getting weak, his way of making and the script he selects was utterly disappointing. So when Kaduva was announced my expectation was not that great but still, the hope was lying in the court of Prithviraj Sukumaran and his production. Also the old hit films of Shaji Kailas gave me hope so I was waiting to watch Kaduva with a minimum expectation. After many controversies, the movie was getting much attention and made some curiosity, also the hope of Prithviraj’s good script selection made me book the tickets for the first day first show. So honestly speaking Kaduva has given me a good theatre experience, the film is rich with action and fights and the gigantic screen presence of Prithviraj was worth the money. I won’t say it’s a perfect film in all ways but still, it has the content to attract the common and family audience.
The first major positive thing about the film Kaduva is the tremendous screen presence of Prithviraj Sukumaran, it was his stellar show. His massive fight sequences, sharp keen dialogue and the energy he showcased were wonderful, the screen and the film had filled with his drastic energy. From the beginning to the end he took the responsibility to carry out the movie forward. He understands his character clearly and with passionate effort, and he has given his best to create an impact. The heroism and the mass appeal which he drives all over the film was enjoyable and the moments he creates through the character deserve huge applause. The actions and fight sequences played a crucial role in this film, all the fight sequences were thrilling and they made the viewing experience many moments of excitement. The action avatar of Prithviraj with the high-octane fights had implemented the right formula for the making of Shaji Kailas. The screenplay is suffering from many flaws but those errors don’t create many issues because of the performance of Prithviraj Sukumaran, as I said his influential performance makes the viewing engaging and doesn’t create any boring moments.
The second positive thing is the making of Shaji Kailas, the pattern which Shaji Kailas followed in his earlier hit film is still followed in Kaduva. First, he largely focuses on the central character, introduces his family and his living premise, slowly taking the movie to a core issue, then illustrates the heroism and dirty of games of villains and final towards the end the ultimate gameplay of hero to demolish the villain and at last the happy ending is once again taken by Shaji Kailas on his direction and making style. This structure is something we had witnessed before, many hit films of Shaji Kailas with Suresh Gopi and Mohanlal followed this same formula but fortunately without making it complicated Shaji Kailas had done a pretty good neat effort to make Kaduva watchable. As the movie is happening in the 1990s era the making of the director had suited for the ’90s period and it was effectively brought to the screen. Also how Shaji Kailas utilised the acting talents of Prithviraj also deserves mention, he placed him as a real mass hero and doesn’t make the character look exaggerated. The ‘ichayan’ style was matching the satire of Prithviraj, here Shaji Kailas with his experience in this genre had given the right instruction to Prithviraj on how to follow the style and the modulation went well on the screen. It is evident that Shaji Kailas as a director was well aware of the content, he was having the exact idea of how to attract the audience and how to give an engaging cinematic experience. So he made the film with a proper flow and didn’t make the film stretch, everything was told and unfolded at the right points so nothing went dragged. Therefore, the running time of two hours and thirty minutes went smoothly, and not a single minute felt boring.
The story and dialogues are the third positive factor, the storyline was good and it was having enough content for a commercial entertainer. Jinu V. Abraham had written the whole script, his story and dialogues were fine but sadly the screenplay was above average. The plot of the film was simple but it was crammed with many unexpected events, flashbacks and ego fights between hero and villain can be seen and the elements of mass heroism given to the central character carries the storyline forward. The events in the film and the fight between hero and villain were written well and it was balanced with many punchy dialogues which helped the hero character to make a mass momentum. The interesting thing was that all the major important scenes of the hero were attested with punch dialogues, after a fight and before a fight proper dialogues were given to the hero so the impact which the scene creates through the dialogue was enormous. One will feel like making big claps and whistles, the chill and excitement will be drawn into our mind, here to make this happen the writer Jinu. V Abraham had given many powerful dialogues brilliantly. So when an important scene gets over the excitement will be still left till the next scene, till then to hold it the casual dialogues between the characters were also adequately written.
The problem with the writing was the screenplay, the first half was steady and it was promising for a big second half but the momentum in the first half was not seen accurately in the second half. When comparing I will say that the first half was more powerful than the second half, the second half towards the end had loosen the grip. After revealing a big twist in the second half the writing went so easy, the climax portion and the events that connect to the climax looked mediocre. I expected the final encounter of the hero and villain with some surprising turns but sadly a routine formula was given by the writer. But the solid climax fight between Prithviraj and Vivek Oberoi helped the climax to get a satisfying ending. Many circumstances in the storyline are also predictable but it doesn’t affect much for the viewing experience. The emotional connection between the characters was also average, the love of Prithviraj toward his wife, daughters and son was not utilized well, and the scope of family sentiments was also not used properly. Some routine cliches and repeating stuff of 90’s period movies can be seen but still, it went with the flow and didn’t turn out bad. The ego clash of hero and villain was largely seen in the previous films of Prithviraj like Driving Licence and Ayyappanum Koshiyum and unfortunately, the script of Kaduva also borrows the same style so while watching we will know how all the things are going to be. The worst lighting techniques were used in the film, to boost the heroism and to create an additional mass appeal; many unwanted lighting was placed in the wrong position which created an awkward feel.
•PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS:
The film has the casting of Prithviraj Sukumaran, Vivek Oberoi, Samyuktha Menon, Arjun Ashokan, Rahul Madhav, Baiju Santosh, Alencier Ley Lopez, Kalabhavan Shajon, Priyanka Nair, Janardharan, Seema and many more.
Prithviraj as Kaduvakunnel Kuriachan did an outstanding performance, he is the real backbone of this film. His performance was energetic and the brilliant characterization was pleasing to watch, he carried the movie perfectly on his shoulders and he had given his best to make the character powerful. The action sequences of Prithviraj had dominated the viewing experience, it’s a long time Malayalam film industry had witnessed such a massive action film and to make it more memorable Prithviraj had given the right heroic formula. The expressions and acting skills of Prithviraj were awesome because his character demanded the qualities of a brave hero and without making any errors he had given the appropriate emotions for the character. Also how Prithviraj maintained it throughout and how he handled the different emotions was enjoyable to watch. His anger and the roaring sharp dialogue properly showcased the qualities of a mass hero and Prithviraj had flawlessly lived throughout his character to make an extra influence. I felt that Prithviraj had made an influence through his performance because after watching out I was still getting the hangover of the premise of Kaduva, his dialogues and his fight sequence can be still seen when closing my eyes. In the entire performance of Prithviraj an overwhelming power was present, as Kaduvakunnel Kuriachan he had clearly understood what the character should look like, what should be his attitude and how he should behave and how he should face his enemies and threat, this whole idea on how to be Kaduvakunnel Kuriachan was astonishingly performed by Prithviraj Sukumaran. The style and attitude he showed in the fight sequences are a big treat for his fans and also for the mass movie lovers. The dialogue delivery was sharp, no errors were felt and his various modulation while presenting the dialogues also looked vivid. During the mass dialogues, his voice was having a predominant commanding power and it pushed me to make some big applause. The governing and fearless brave personality and the main fight with the villain is a treat to watch so you will be fascinated by seeing the performance of Prithviraj Sukumaran. Vivek Oberoi as I.G. Joseph Chandy also delivered a glaring performance. As a villain he was a perfect competitor for Prithviraj, both of them shared great chemistry and the shades of antagonist and protagonist made them fight which leads to a thrilling war. As an Inspector General, his attitude and personality matched the uniform, and the presence of Vivek Oberoi was making the movie more engaging. His action sequences were heavy and the fights with Prithviraj were superb, also his way of action style needs special mention. Samyuktha Menon as Elsa Kurian delivered a good performance, she did the wife character and the overall performance was satisfying. Janardhanan as the Chief Minister performed well, his character played a crucial role and the negative touch in the character was handled steadily. Baiju Santosh, Alencier Ley Lopez and Arjun Ashokan did good supporting roles with reasonable screen space with Prithviraj Sukumaran. Kalabhavan Shajohn and Rahul Madhav appear to do a negative role and both did complete justice to their characters.
•MUSIC AND TECHNICAL DIVISION:
The musical work for the film is tuned by the hitmaker Jakes Bejoy which includes the background score and cinematography of the film is done by Abinandhan Ramanujan and the editing is by Shameer Muhammed.
The song “Palappally” sung by Athul Narukara was giving the feel of a traditional folk style and the mix of modern western-style instruments used for the song was also giving a varied feel. The lyrics of Santhosh Varma and Sreehari Tharayil were meaningful with an old-style pattern and the rural culture had synched to make the song feel different. The song “Paalvarnna Kuthiramel ” written by Santhosh Varma and Sreehari Tharayil had given a mass feel and the beats in the song were powerful to make some cherished moments and the visual of the song had suited for the situation. Usually, Jakes Bejoy never disappoints us, he used to give some power-packed background score depending on the types of scenes and the type of genre and in ‘Kaduva’ he follows the winning pattern. The two songs in the film were good but more than the songs the background score glowed larger. The theme tune Jakes Bejoy used for the teaser and trailer was promising, and it was giving me the expectation that the action sequences are going to be richer by the background scores. The expectations haven’t failed, the background score was extraordinary. The movie was enriched with a terrific background score, and all the action sequences in the film had the backing of many energetic background scores. The action sequences were given more chill because of the background score, those tunes will make us chill to blow some whistles and the BGM will make us more thrilled. So the combination of daring action sequences, visuals of the mass fight and the terrific background score with the heroic screen presence of Prithviraj Sukumaran was giving a visual treat of thrill and excitement and the theatre crowd and the experience were priceless. It’s a mass action-oriented film with lots of fights and action sequences so the cinematography by Abinandhan Ramanujan was precise to set the genre of the film. The camera angles and the sudden camera movements during the fight sequences were composed perfectly so the fights of Prithviraj Sukumaran were allotting a big impact on the screen. For the fight sequences, how Abinandhan Ramanujan placed the camera, the different angles, how he conducts it and how he modulates the sudden camera shift was fitting to give many cheerful moments. There are many fight sequences in the film and each one of them was amazing so while watching I was getting the instants to make huge applause and whistles because the visuals of action sequences were crammed with many unbelievable shots and camera angles. So the fight sequence will keep on hooking us and the visualization during the actions will engage us. The premise of Pala, Erattupetta, Vandiperiyar and Mundakkayam was chosen rightly as the location and the videos of the places were filled with greenery and the nice atmosphere of the hilltop was also giving an additional charming atmosphere. The closeup shots were having the right detail, and the facial expression of Prithviraj Sukumaran was captured rightly. His anger, frustration, desperateness and care towards the loved one were undertaken correctly in the closeup shots and it exhibited the elegant acting skills of Prithviraj Sukumaran. The editing of Shammer Muhammed was brilliant as usual, and the viewing experience hasn’t given any kind of mismatches. The cuts were perfect and the transition of the scene was having the right flow to the next scenes. The colour-grading looked fine and the cuts during the fight sequences were smartly made. The action choreographers Kanal Kannan and Mafia Sasi had done a spectacular job, every action sequence in the film was mind-blowing. Every fight sequence was made according to the style and mannerism of Prithviraj, his action avatar was smashed with brilliant fight styles. The big kicks and the jumps of Prithviraj reminded the jump of a roaring tiger, and the action sequences were followed by many cool and unbelievable moves which were totally unexpected. For this film, the script demands huge fights and massive actions so Kanal Kannan and Mafia Sasi had clearly understood the premise of the genre, and to make the movie look more powerful they had given the appropriate action sequences for both the protagonist and antagonist.
So overall I would say that I enjoyed watching the film Kaduva, it’s been a long time since I had seen a mass commercial movie in the Malayalam language and the film Kaduva has got all the components to make a paisa vasool entertainer. The incredible power-packed performance of Prithviraj Sukumaran will entertain everyone and the fight sequences are massive. The direction of Shaji Kailas was neat and the writing was also fine, there are some flaws in between but the ultimate result of Kaduva won’t disappoint anyone. So I would definitely recommend Kaduva to watch in the theatre itself and for the family audience and for those who love to watch high-action mass films Kaduva will be a perfect choice.
- VERDICT: A good watchable entertainer.
- RATING: 3.25/5