The Malayalam film “Kurup” dropped on Netflix this week after a successful theatrical release. The core story is based on a real life incident around Sukumara Kurup who committed a murder of his look alike and faked his own death to claim insurance proceeds. This happened in Kerala in the 80’s. The most interesting part is Sukumara Kurup remains elusive to this date as per police records while his accomplices were brought to the book. The writers and the Director do a fairly good job to add back stories and front stories to this core to make it an interesting commercial film.
What stands out while watching the film is its intelligently written screenplay that goes back and forth in a non-linear format. Not just that, in different parts, the story is narrated in the perspective of different characters. You are not alone if you felt that many scenes in the 1st half of the film look very abrupt without detailing. These scenes make an appearance again in the 2nd half with the missing links. In this kind of storytelling, the writers and the director must be very clear on the way the story board progresses which the writers team of Aravinth, Daniel and Jithin Jose crack it well, not to mention of the editor Harish’s role in the end product.
The film’s making is of the highest order. In replicating the era right from the 60’s to the 90’s, the production team has done an outstanding job in tandem with cinematographer Nimish Ravi. The colour pallet optimisation at different stages of the film to suit the different timelines is being done in many films now but in this film you can see the extra effort put with eye on detail.
Dulquer Salman plays the title role of Kurup with elan and ease. He pitches the right emotions without overdoing or underplaying throughout the film. At times, he looked too stylish for the part! Among the supporting cast, Shine Tom Chacko shines.
Director Srinath Rajendran has done a fine job in translating the screenplay into the big screen without any loss in translation. There are some intelligent framing of the scenes which elevate the watching experience. This film ideally needs to be watched on the big screen for its production values.
I thought that the director took too much time in the beginning to set the characterisation of the protagonist which slows the tempo in the beginning. The film picks up when that phase passes. As I mentioned earlier, in the 1st half, many of the scenes felt abrupt which was deliberate. But towards the end also, some of the scenes seemed rushed and abrupt probably keeping the length of the film in mind. Tighter scene selection in the 1st 40 mins could have mitigated this. Nothing much is explained of the female lead character played by Shobhita Dhulipala and what happens to her. But these are minor issues in an otherwise entertaining and engaging film.
Kurup is a good watch for its making and performances. Watch it with focus lest you will miss the twists.