When the movie “Breaking News Live” got released, I remember concluding the review saying people should stop abusing women, at least to save us from amateurish movies that are based on such attacks. In a way 10 Kalpanakal from editor turned director Don Max offers the same amount of amateurishness to the table. Don Max who is well known for his brisk flashy cuts in Shaji Kailas movies, sort of copies his masters style. But that style being an outdated unimpressive one, 10 Kalpanakal can’t create that impact some of the “customized justice” theme oriented movies made.
Shazia Akbar is this police officer who quit the force after being unable to prove a person as guilty for a rape case. The movie 10 Kalpanakal is narrated as a flash back story about this particular case which was haunting Shazia for a long while. It was a case about the murder of a 16 year old girl after getting brutally raped. 10 Kalpanakal goes through the permutations of the investigation and ultimately shows us the killer and the punishment.
The climax of the movie sort of shows the kind of punishment that should be given to people involved in such acts and I do agree to that kind of sentencing. But we are in for a movie, not a social preach. The story of the movie is by Don Max himself and there isn’t any interesting uniqueness to the story. The making in totality is the biggest down point of 10 Kalpanakal. You have these dramatic dialogues everywhere. Then the cuts of the movie are almost like a censor cut, awkwardly breaking the already awkward background score. And the screenplay just can’t create an intrigue. The one suspense the villain manipulates is easily guessable and when screenplay took a u turn, it looked lame. The only real high point when you look at the whole movie is its climax.
Meera Jasmine who makes a comeback with this movie hasn’t really got a lengthy juicy character. Thankfully her makeup is quite neat this time but the kind of robotic dialogue delivery of those theatrical dialogues disappointed me. Anoop Menon in his typical cool dad avatar is fine, but in all those emotional scenes, the actor loses grip. Kaniha doesn’t have much to do. Kavitha Nair was good and Shebin Benson was okay. Rits Badiani as Angel looks pretty but the acting is flawed. In comparison with all the other actors in the film, Prashant Narayanan was much better as Victor. He repeats his typical style, but as it matched the attitude of the character, it wasn’t much of an issue. Joju George is that mandatory distraction villain.
Following the footsteps of his guru Shaji Kailas, Don Max sort f mixes the directors style in his narrative. You have totally irrelevant slow motion “intro” shots frequently. The build up to many scenes looked lame and there isn’t a gradual flow to the proceedings. What really disturbed me was the bizarre edits. Random helicam shots, flash back sequences, Shazia’s thoughts and imaginations etc look way too formulaic. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the background score at many areas was a mismatch and I think Don Max chopped it after sound mixing. Production design was good and the songs were average. Cinematography style was too desperate to be a thriller.
Like somebody said in social media, it would have been better in the hands of a better film maker. 10 Kalpanakal looks like a hastily made thriller, which followed the existing pattern just to show that climax to the audience. Story is average, performances aren’t great, the making is sloppy and my rating is generous only because the climax was somewhat appreciable.
10 Kalpanakal looks like a hastily made thriller, which followed the existing pattern just to show that climax to the audience.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended