Kshanam, the new horror film from Suresh Unnithan, opens with a sequence set in a film school. We have future filmmakers discussing the greatness of Manichithrathazhu with ace director Lal Jose. The audacity of the makers to keep that portion after watching this entire film deserves some kind of appreciation for having a thick skin. In that sequence writer, Sreekumar Arookutty claims that after Manichithrathazhu, Malayalam has not seen a good psychological horror film. He even makes his characters say lines like “Why Malayalam cinema doesn’t have great movies like Conjuring and Annabelle?” After all those pretentious criticism, Arookutty writes a story that looks like the shoddiest rip-off of Manichithrathazhu.
Four film students and their teacher decided to go to an old club in the high range to shoot a diploma film. The location was perfect for the shoot. But after their arrival, a lot of supernatural things start to happen. At first, some of them thought it was all a gimmick. But as the days progressed, they realized that there was an actual spirit in that house. Whose soul was that and what all these people had to go through because of the presence of this spirit is what we see in Kshanam.
When people from a different generation write stories about the younger generation, it becomes a platform for them to show their level of ignorance about a segment of the audience. Balachandra Menon’s Ennalum Sarath was a great example of that. Here also, that same thing is happening. The film students in Kshanam are those pseudo cool youngsters. Their ego, infatuations, and even the misunderstanding are presented in the lamest way possible. After giving you a clear idea of how mediocre things will be, Suresh Unnithan unleashes the pile of clichés upon the audience. At the beginning of the film, a film student had asked why Fasil didn’t treat Manichithrathazhu as a horror film. Well, the entire movie Kshanam is the answer to that question.
The Daily Soap level writing of this movie is the fundamental problem. If they really thought this idea would appeal to an audience of 2021, I must say that they have absolutely no idea about the evolution of the audience. Characters in this film have no emotional continuity, and we have songs coming out of nowhere. Out of necessity for a song, they just created a dance number featuring Sneha Ajith and Bharath as someone’s imagination. The core part of the movie has the characters trying to find the truth behind a death. The common-sense level of the characters is so bad that you might feel like shouting at those duffers. My expression while watching this film and actor Lal’s expression throughout the film was in the same zone.
Bharath plays the role of the film institute teacher Aravind. And his despise looks were highly artificial. Sneha, the female lead of the movie, is perhaps the one who had to go through a lot of physical strain for this film. My sympathies are there with her. Ajmal Ameer’s is showering expressions all over the screen. Vivek and Krrish are disappointing in those silly characters. Lal basically plays the Dr. Sunny equivalent character in this film.
There is an exorcism sequence in the film that happens towards the end. It just went on and on without any progress, and I could feel the sense of fear leaving my body. Kshanam is a trashy script that just goes after tried and tested clichés. Kshanam is a movie about a group of people who went to a hill station to make a diploma film. And the funny side is that this one looks shoddier than a diploma film.
Kshanam is a movie about a group of people who went to a hill station to make a diploma film. And the funny side is that this one looks shoddier than a diploma film.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended