Kolla Review | A Heist Thriller With neither Flair nor Flavor

In the recent past, there have been a few releases that came with the story credit given to the ace writer duo Bobby-Sanjay. Innale Vare, Evidey, Mohan Kumar Fans, etc., are among those list of movies. I have heard in their interviews that they start writing scripts only when the ideas maintain the excitement for a long time in their heads. Seeing all those story-credited movies, which includes the latest Malayalam movie Kolla, starring Rajisha Vijayan and Priya Prakash Warrier, I kind of get this feeling that all these stories were the one that never managed to pass the internal test of Bobby and Sanjay. With everything kept on a very peripheral and basic level, Kolla, directed by Suraj Varma, hardly has anything to make it memorable.

Annie and Shilpa are new to this small town and have come here to set up a beauty parlor. But very soon into the movie, we are shown that they have another major plan of executing a heist as their shop was allotted right under a bank. The plan of the duo to get money from that bank and how they try to escape from the investigation that happens after that is what we see in Kolla.

It is the infamous Chelembra bank robbery that has inspired the makers to do this movie. If it was a restaurant in the original case, here they have tweaked it by making two women do the planning under cover of an upcoming beauty parlor. When you use such a headline as a thread to develop something like a movie, the nuances and newness of the script are crucial. The writing must outsmart the audience’s intelligence if it wants to become a great film. But in Kolla, forget the writing being smart; it just stays very basic, not even making us curious about what the two women might do. The roadblocks they face in this journey or even those fancy dress attempts to complete the heist look very amateurish on screen.

Rajisha Vijayan is the one who is doing the heavy lifting here as her character Annie, is the one who is closely involved in the whole planning. From being naive in front of the native people to being the one responsible for making everything work, Rajisha has done the part neatly. Priya Prakash Warrier comes out of the gloomy girl stereotype in this film. Even though she has a lot of screen time, the writing isn’t giving much to that character. Vinay Forrt tries to make the character of the investigating police officer a bit deeper. But again, the peripheral and familiar approach of the script is restricting him. Shebin Benson and Alencier Ley Lopez have got important characters in the film. People like Shiny Sarah, Prashanth Alexander, etc., are wasted in pointless roles. Even though it wasn’t a significant character, I liked the way Jeo Baby performed his SI character with those occasional smirky dialogues.

It is not like the story never had the scope to be a film. The script written by Jasim Jamal and Nelson Joseph has some pivotal moments that can excite any scriptwriter. The duo’s decision to not leave after the heist, how Vinay Forrt’s CI Farooq finds the clue to resolving the mystery, and how these two women come up with an escape plan are all kind of exciting on a scene order level. But joining those points through a compelling narrative is where Suraj Varma’s film fumbles. The film just wasn’t able to present a good twist, and the presentation of the interval twist created more of a “what was that?” kind of reaction rather than a curiosity. The heist content scripting tropes are getting repeated here without any flair.

Making the audience do some calculations and predictions in their head and surpass them in those predictions is crucial in creating heist thrillers. Kolla feels more like they chose the not-so-exciting permutation from the possible set of plot development options. The makers’ confidence is definitely inspiring as they ended the film with the possibility of a sequel with a really posh backdrop.

Final Thoughts

Kolla feels more like they chose the not-so-exciting permutation from the possible set of plot development options.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.