Renowned film-maker “Ram Gopal Varma” says “A film should be an experience, no matter it’s a hit or a flop” and “Kammatipaadam” proves this point absolutely. Directed by cinematographer turned director “Rajeev Ravi”, this film stars Dulquer Salman, Vinayakan, Manikandan R Achari and Shaun Romy in pivotal roles. While renowned actor-writer “P. Balachandran” provided the screenplay, “Prem Menon” produced it under his “Global United Media” production house.
Krishnan (Dulquer) who stays in Mumbai, comes to his village Kammatipaadam in search of his childhood friend Ganga (Vinayakan) who went missing and recollects his memories with his village, Ganga, Balan (Manikandan) and Anitha (Shaun Romy).
Director Rajeev Ravi and writer Balachandran evidently have been much influenced by “Martin Scorsese”, more so when we draw comparisons to characterizations, which could prevail as one of the strengths for this film. Dulquer or any other actor is to be found nowhere in this film except their roles, each role having its own level of native emotions. Director and writer should be appreciated for these characterizations.
Film has a typical Malayalam narrative style at a rather slow pace and with a high amount of detailing in establishment of every character. I need to share my own experience with this film. As soon as I watched “177 minutes” on censor certificate and slower take off, I felt the narration is lagging yet I couldn’t think of something outside this film. There lies the victory of writer and director.
Director succeeded in portraying the lives of Kammatipaadam boys growing from being weaker to fearless and a good editing helped him travel back and forth, revealing details about Ganga and Balan. He hadn’t missed using a single point shown, like how one should stab a person and what one should do when gets stabbed by someone. Scenes like Balan marrying Rosamma (Amalda Liz) and Ganga commanding Anitha were very realistic. There were limited number of songs, which were embedded in the screenplay though. The scene where Ganga asks Krishnan to leave Anitha for him, knowing they love each other sounds funny yet it portrays real emotions. Also, the scene where Anitha says Krishnan indirectly that she started liking Ganga was an example of writer’s wit in convincing Krishnan and audience.
There lies something very good about this film’s writing part. The film starts introducing Krishnan as a security personnel in Mumbai. All the other characters’ journey was shown in detail but not the main character’s. Audience doesn’t feel the need of knowing about it.
There also lies something which writer failed to deliver as he wanted. It’s the ending sequence. Maybe, he has maintained it till the end to gave a thrill to audience but it wasn’t thrilling due to the high amount of detailing and lagging narration. Due to this sequence, the emotion carried out till then was instantly dropped.
On the whole, Kammatipaadam is an honest attempt by Balachandran and Rajeev with portrayal of real emotions yet bearing it for 177 minutes is a hurdle for audience. Go for it if you do not care about runtime and want to watch a highly emotional film.
Dulquer performed extraordinarily as Krishnan and he stands as one of the finest actors of this generation. Vinayakan as Ganga, Manikandan as Balan gave eminent performances. Vinay Forrt as Venu, Shaun Romy, Anil Nedumangad as Surendran, Shine Tom Chacko as Johnny and rest were apt for their roles.
Overall Eminences :
- Balachandran’s Writing. Every character was established well with much detailing and real emotions were portrayed.
- Performances. Watch this film for real performances of Dulquer, Vinayakan and Manikandan.
- Krishna Kumar’s Background Score. Though the narration was slower, background score helped the establishment of emotions.
- Madhu Neelakantan’s Cinematography. Night sequences and all the scenes shot at Kammatipaadam village were visually eminent.
- Slow Narration. Narration was very much slower such that an audience who just wants to get relaxed never gets relaxed in those 177 minutes. The biggest lowland for this film.
– Yashwanth Aluru