King Fish

At one point in the movie, King Fish, the maid in the house Anoop Menon’s character visits, says something profound when he asks her about a closed door in the house. As he stands bewildered about that response, another helper in the house tells him that she might have learned that from Facebook or WhatsApp. Anoop Menon might have added that pointless comedy just to make the movie a fun film. But the writing of the entire film also feels exactly like that. Anoop Menon squeezes in all his philosophy and relationship fantasies into an outdated customized justice thriller. With a wayward script that chooses too many irrelevant subplots, King Fish, at best, is polished verbal diarrhea.

Bhaskara Varma is a real estate man who was previously a chemical engineer. One day an advocate visits him and tells him that his uncle Dasharatha Varma has plans to write his will, and Bhaskara Varma will get his uncle’s properties worth Rs 90 crores (or was it 9 crores?) if he agrees to visit him. A rough past makes Bhaskara Varma reluctant in the beginning, but the tempting nature of the offer makes him go there. What happens during that visit is what we see in King Fish.

At its core, King Fish is a very basic revenge plot. But Anoop Menon doesn’t really know where to begin. He wants to include so many subplots in the movie, which by the end, look totally irrelevant to the main idea. The movie opens with the dilemma of a mainstream actor. Then the focus shifts to this property deal. Then we have this romantic detour to introduce a female lead. And when the movie shifts to the estate of Dasharatha Varma, from the maid to the neighbor, half a dozen new subplots are also unveiled there. Oh yeah, there is a flashback sequence of our hero’s broken relationship. By the time the movie reaches the interval block, you will almost forget what the central character’s profession is.

Straight forward yet philosophical dialogues were always trademark stuff that made Anoop Menon movies attractive. In films like Beautiful and Trivandrum Lodge, those dialogues were supported by scenes that demanded those dialogues, and even the sequences had that connected feel. It was around the time he made Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal that the movies started to sound like platforms for him to present his randomly scribbled philosophies. If you try to narrate the story of King Fish to someone, you can easily skip the dialogues. Actually, you can even skip sequences and characters in this film as it never bothers the main story.

For your information, there is a totally different track in which a journalist is investigating a writer whose pen name is King Fish (No points for guessing who that is). I admire Anoop Menon’s confidence in using that poorly written subplot as an episode that made a page 3 journalist realize the real purpose of her job. The background score is super loud in many places. The song placement was poor, and even in that, you can sense the deliberate effort to act raw and intellectual.

Like in most of his films, Anoop Menon plays Anoop Menon under a different name. Bhaskara Varma is the usual flirting bachelor who prefers to stay single. Ranjith may have the look of a veteran Casanova in that salt n pepper look. But grace is not there in the dialogue delivery. Durga Krishna as Kalindhi is that typical Anoop Menon heroine with counterarguments. Divya Pillai is there for one flashback song. Niranjana Anoop’s character has significance in the story, but there isn’t much there in terms of scope to perform.

Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Legendary director James Cameron has said the above lines to those who are hesitant to make that first move towards making a film. I think Anoop Menon has applied that philosophy in making feature films like Padma and King Fish.

Final Thoughts

With a wayward script that chooses too many irrelevant subplots, King Fish, at best, is polished verbal diarrhea.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.