In Kooman, the latest thriller from director Jeethu Joseph, he somehow manages to crack a story that resembles a blend of his two big successes; Drishyam and Memories. Kooman has one track where the protagonist hides something he has done and then tries to solve a mystery behind a series of murders. Written by KR Krishna Kumar, Kooman is a mixed-bag thriller that has its moments at regular intervals of time.
CPO Giri, who works in a police station on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, is our central protagonist. He is a brilliant police officer who is extremely sensitive too. When a new CI took charge in the station, Giri wasn’t appreciated for his efforts, and a particular incident involving the CI and Giri led to Giri’s humiliation. Giri’s ego-driven counter-attack and where it leads him eventually is what we see in Kooman.
The two conflicts in the tale make Kooman an exciting concept on a story level. Krishna Kumar and Jeethu Joseph make us believe that Giri’s ego is driving the whole plot. But post-interval, the signature Jeethu Joseph shift happens, and we see Giri evolving into another version of Sam Alex. Very interestingly, the negative side we see in the story feels extremely real due to certain developments in the recent past. The steady upward graph of thrill that we see in other thrillers of Jeethu Joseph is not there in Kooman, and once we are exposed to the twist, it has a tiring nature.
How Asif Ali betters himself through each film is a pleasure to watch. The fake smile of Giri when his ego gets hurt looked terrific on screen, and I somewhere feel he is right now in the best form to crack an emotionally intricate character whom the audience will read through those minor changes in expression. Jaffar Idukki, as the thief, was also brilliant. Actually, both Asif and Jaffar Idukki were the only actors who managed to bring down the stiff drama in the dialogues. Baburaj and Renji Panicker were fine in their respective roles. Most of the members in the rest of the cast struggle to render the conversations in a realistic manner.
The issue I always have with Jeethu Joseph movies is the way he makes people say dialogue precisely the same way it is written. In the initial patches of the film, that rigidity affects everyone’s performance, and the scenes that were supposed to showcase Giri’s intelligence had a very staged feel. Once the movie goes into its second act, the screenplay gains momentum. Phase two of Giri’s investigation also looks appealing in the initial portions. But the script isn’t entirely able to move away from the prediction one may have about the real culprit. The emphasis on certain dialogues and the lack of focus on specific characters are leaking the information to the audience, who are also trying to crack the case. The visuals, cuts, and background score have helped the film in gaining the structure of a standard thriller.
The double burden on the hero’s shoulders makes Kooman an interesting thriller that never bores you. The performances of Asif Ali and Jaffer Idukki also give the narrative a little bit of juice. But the wow factor in revealing the mystery man is not quite there, and the third act kind of goes on and on because of the theme.
The double burden on the hero's shoulders makes Kooman an interesting thriller that never bores you.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended