The fragility of the human mind and those grey areas of the moral dilemma have always produced interesting content with some peculiar characters. Kaanekkaane, the second directorial of Manu Ashokan after Uyare taps into those areas. Manu’s second collaboration with writer duo Bobby and Sanjay is a much more refined drama that focuses on the complexities of the human mind in vulnerable situations.
Deputy Tahsildar Paul Mathai is a grieving father who still hasn’t got over the death of his daughter Sherin. Almost after one year of her passing away, Paul visits his son-in-law Allen and his grandson Kuttu. There he meets Allen’s new wife, Sneha, who is pregnant now. As Paul left that house, he saw something that triggered a lot of speculations inside him, and what he does after that is what we see in Kaanekkaane.
The beauty of Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur was the way how it gave us a perspective on the two characters being similar at different junctures of life. The idea of revenge and punishment was driving the central character of that movie. Here also we can see such a thought process. Bobby Sanjay is not trying to show a black and white morality where good wins over evil. They are planting every turns in the script so as to make the viewer root for Paul. Allen’s perspective only comes at a later point, and it is also very discrete in terms of screen time. But the tiny bits of flashback effectively give us an idea about how things were back then. And that somehow helps the movie in creating that empathy towards every character.
Manu Ashokan doesn’t overdo the suspense element in the story. From a very early stage itself, we, as the audience, will be predicting certain foul plays. So when those things are revealed, Kaanekkaane doesn’t make a huge deal about it. Because creating suspense is only a navigation tool for the script. Ultimately the aim is to dwell into those grey areas of moral dilemmas. Sneha, at one point, says why she was adamant about the relationship, and it is presented in a way we will feel for the loneliness through which that character goes through. Vulnerable men who cry and strong women who understand the vulnerability of men are shown in the film in a very subtle way. Alby’s cinematography creates the intrigue gracefully, especially in the way the character of Paul is presented. Editing was a bit clumsy in some of the fast-paced sequences. The background score worked wonderfully for the movie.
Suraj Venjaramood shines once again and this time as Paul. You get to see two shades of Paul here, and one would be able to feel the amount of trauma through which the character had gone through when we look at that contrast. The character is close to what he did in the movie Finals, but Suraj manages to add those slight variations to make this character unique. The moment in the movie where he breaks down was heartbreaking to watch. Tovino Thomas, on the other hand, yet again has taken up a role that isn’t heroic in any sense. It was so good to see someone of his stature opting for a character like this that is extremely sensitive. Aishwarya Lekshmi, who has been giving underwhelming performances off late, bounces back with her performance as Sneha. She gets the pitch of the drama of the movie and plays her part very naturally. From a polite daughter to a furious wife, the character gives her a space to perform, and she doesn’t disappoint. Shruti Ramachandran was memorable, and so was Master Alok.
Presented as a thriller, Kaanekkaane is a heartening depiction of human vulnerability. Even though it is rooting for ideas such as forgiveness and moving on, it also admits that those acts are not easy for those affected by them. By the time the movie finishes, a certain level of empathy is generated in our minds towards the main characters. The way Bobby and Sanjay placed the hit and run dilemma at three places of the movie with three different outcomes also made the movie impressive on a creative level.
Even though it is rooting for ideas such as forgiveness and moving on, it also admits that those acts are not easy for those affected by them.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended