The one-liner idea of the movie Dakini directed by Rahul Riji Nair is an interesting one that has the potential to be a madcap fun entertainer. But sadly the writing and execution of this movie feel so random and confused, making it less of a fun movie and more of a tedious movie with very occasional moments of spoofy fun. With a plot that is stuck on a wafer-thin idea, there isn’t much here to engage us in this fictional world.
Four elderly women are our main protagonists. They are living in one apartment and they all get together every day to play cards. One of them, Moly, incidentally happens to meet her yesteryear lover Kuttanpilla and the background of Kuttanpilla eventually takes these 4 ladies to go for a ride with their local help Kuttappi to find Kuttanpilla. What is the mystery behind Kuttanpilla, who has abducted him and how these four women manage to rescue him is what Dakini talking about.
As I said, the premise as a one-liner is exciting. Four old women who are typically labeled as incapable of doing anything physically tough taking down a mafia don sounds like a perfect idea for roller coaster fun movie. But Rahul Riji Nair struggles here to maintain the entertainment quotient. There are an evident dullness and lack of nuances in the making of this movie. The color grading and styling have managed to give the movie peculiar attire, but there isn’t much juice in the movie to excite us. I personally have an opinion that ideas like this should have a precise genre. Here it is a mix of romance, sentiments, slapstick humor, spoof, and sarcasm. And that mix isn’t giving the movie the kind of pace one would prefer in a movie like Dakini.
It might sound odd, but Aju Varghese in his typical style performed much better than the four leading ladies of the movie. The dialogue delivery from Pauly Wilson, Sarasa Balussery, Savithri Sreedharan and Sethu Lakshmi had this extremely dramatic unreal tone. I must say that it sort of ruined both the humorous scenes and the emotional scenes. Aju Varghese wasn’t doing anything particularly new, but his usual style of performance looked much organic. With movies like Aadu and Padayottam, I think Saiju Kurupp now knows how to maintain the correct level of eccentricity in these kinds of movies. Chemban Vinod Jose doesn’t have much to do here. Indrans sort of repeats an Aadu like show.
Rahul Riji Nair’s first film Ottamuri Velicham has won many accolades including the state award. I am yet to see that film and Dakini is his second venture in which he tries to explore something extremely different from his first attempt. What I felt was that it was supposed to be an eccentric comedy that eventually got diluted to an amalgamation of various emotions. Old, Wicked and Lovable is the tagline of the movie and the wicked part wasn’t even there in my opinion. The Wes Anderson style frames does give the movie that comical attire, but for all that to work you need a screenplay that is crispy. The character played by Saiju Kuruppu is frequently saying something like “What the hell?” to Kuttappi played by Aju Varghese and for most of the time I was also having the same feeling, especially when the monkey came into the frame. The songs from Rahul Raj were kind of good. Gopi Sundar’s background score sort of works as an alarm to keep us awake.
Dull would be the best word to describe Dakini. The idea of older women using their life knowledge to win against a mighty villain needed a much sharper and funnier presentation. With only a few moments of genuine spoofing in the second half working in its favor, Dakini was a disappointing experience.
Dull would be the best word to describe Dakini. The idea of older women using their life knowledge to win against a mighty villain needed a much sharper and funnier presentation.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended