Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, directed by Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, is that much-needed banter comedy we were missing in Malayalam. In the post corona OTT releases, almost every film released was thrillers set in confined places, and Ratheesh’s movie offers a genuinely hilarious experience through a concept that develops very fluently. With some stellar performances from Grace Antony, Vinay Forrt, and Jaffar Idukki, this Nivin Pauly home production offers guaranteed laughs.
Pavithran, a junior artist, is married to Haripriya, an actor who used to work in daily soaps. Because of Pavithran’s irresponsible behavior, Haripriya is going through many emotional issues. Sivakumar, a mutual friend, asks them to go to Munnar for a short trip. Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham focuses on the events inside the hotel where the couple stayed after Haripriya’s earrings went missing from the room.
There is this subgenre in comedy that focuses on nonsensical humor. It’s a challenging genre to crack, primarily because if you slightly overdo it, the whole thing will crumble. Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval isn’t trying to make it a plot-driven film. He isn’t complicating the premise. Rather than making it a suspense-oriented comedy, he disintegrates the duty of entertaining the viewer among characters. Even though it is a crowded setup, not a single character is out of place. The conversations between the drunkard and the writer left me in splits on multiple occasions.
Ratheesh prefers to keep the characters in a natural space and create an eccentric scene using them. The fluency in scenes is what makes it engaging. I don’t know how much of the dialogues were improvised (chances are really high), but there wasn’t a moment of hesitation for pineapple juice to become fine apple juice. The way the tempo of the humor is maintained is commendable, in my opinion. Even when the story deviates from Haripriya’s suppressed frustrations, Shalini’s outbursts, and Balachandran’s breakdown, the film isn’t losing connection with the central idea. Vinod Illampally uses brightly lit frames to present this comedy, and Manoj Kannoth stitched everything without losing the space continuity.
Nivin Pauly’s typical style of humor works in favor of the Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham. But my favorites of this movie were Grace Antony, Vinay Forrt, Jaffar Idukki, and Rajesh Madhavan. Grace was superb in that scene, where she gradually shifts the performance from an angry reaction to expressing Haripriya’s sense of insecurities. Vinay Forrt is the manager who is trying to manage the hotel, and his relationship is hilarious. Jaffar Idukki was easily the show-stealer here. There were times I felt his performance helped the movie immensely to have a free flow. Rajesh Madhavan as Manaf Khan shifts between the caricature tone and normalcy neatly. Other members of the elaborate cast also got the pitch of their respective characters. A special mention to Vincy Aloshious who performed really well as the receptionist.
Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham is a well-made nonsensical comedy that utilizes the actors’ performances fully to make this situational comedy a frequently funny film. The political layers of the movie are not that solid. But I loved the lack of inhibition of the film to go ahead with the lines without too much self-censorship. I am a sucker for eccentric nonsensical comedies, and Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham worked perfectly for me.
I am a sucker for eccentric nonsensical comedies, and Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham worked perfectly for me.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended