Kadakan Review | A Forgettable Action Flick With Familiar Ingredients

Kadakan, the new Hakkim Shahjahan starrer directed by Sajil Mampad, is a very generic action film that just stretches a predictable premise with several episodes that we have seen many a time in Malayalam cinema. The movie’s casting choices have definitely helped the film, as it never enters an unwatchable space. But with pretty much everything feeling stretched and undercooked, this glorification of illegal sand mining is a forgettable action flick.

The movie is set against the backdrop of this village in Malappuram, where illegal sand mining is pretty much a normal thing. Our hero, Sulfi, is one of the major players in that business, and there is a rival gang with whom Sulfi and his friends frequently have fights. What we see in the movie is the change in the business dynamic after the arrival of a new CI named Rajeev, who took some harsh methods to stop the whole nexus.

In the beginning, Sajil Mampad tries to do this slightly pretentious way of establishing the film as something very grounded. You have the camera showing the morning routine of the character played by Jaffer Idukki extensively. When the movie shows us these details of the working of the sand mining groups, followed by the grudges they hold against one another, you sort of anticipate that something interesting will unfold. But from the moment Hakkim Shahjahan is introduced in a typical action-hero style, the film starts to falter, and it’s just the usual bits one after the other.

When you look at how the movie’s climax is shaped, the film’s intention feels pretty lame. It’s like they start off the movie making you feel it is about complex characters and a particular culture and land, then they just suddenly make it this ultra-generic action film. Elements like the left-wing politics, the college campus bits, the toxic romance of the hero, etc., are all half-baked loose ends the makers eventually ignored. The major tussle is between the CI and Sulfi, and that too feels pretty flat for a major part. And how that eventually ends also looks underwhelming.

As the film’s lead character, Hakkim Shahjahan is convincing as this short-tempered young blood. Even though the script uses the character’s anger pointlessly to make it feel engaging, Hakkim was able to make that anger sensible to an extent. Harishree Ashokan, as the hero’s father, gets to play a good character role, which has a major screen time in the movie’s third act. Sarath Sabha played the part of the hero’s sidekick in the film and was good at it. Sona Olickal, as the female lead, got to do a forgettable character. Actor Ranjith returns to Malayalam through Kadakan, and he plays the role of the main antagonist. Actors like Nirmal Palazhi, Manikandan Achari, Jaffer Idukki, and many more are there in the star cast with roles that don’t really demand anything special.

The title of the movie and the director’s credit are shown almost at the end, and it happens to be a moment that reveals why the film is titled Kadakan. But the events that happen till that point are so unexciting that this “supposed to be” theater euphoria moment ended up looking like a jarring tone shift that can’t really create the impact it wanted to have.

Final Thoughts

With pretty much everything feeling stretched and undercooked, this glorification of illegal sand mining is a forgettable action flick.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.