Mathukkutty’s debut directorial Kunjeldho is an unexciting film that depends too much on humor simply because of its inability to create moments. In interviews, I have heard Mathukkutty saying that this is a film based on real life. But even biopics become interesting when the writing manages to crack an exciting perspective to narrate the story. Kunjeldho, in that aspect, is a familiar and predictable creation.
Kunjeldho, our title character, is someone who wanted to study in an arts college simply because he could no longer wear a uniform. When he joins BA Malayalam in a college, he meets Niveditha. Very soon, a relationship blossoms between the two. But in the second year of the course, something unexpected happens in this relationship, and Kunjeldho is in a spot of bother. How he deals with that unprecedented situation without the help of his family is what you get to see in Kunjeldho.
The scripting is trying to add fillers to make this movie look rich in terms of events. We have Kunjeldho’s Plus 2 final day montages for almost 10 minutes in the beginning. Then we have these comical scenes in the college sequence where we have him trying to help and impress Niveditha by playing a hero. It is at the interval point we get to know the plot twist. But whatever we see till that point has too many silly sequences that rarely affect the narrative. What happens post-interval is the Jis Joy movie that you hoped wouldn’t happen.
Asif Ali again plays the irresponsible young fellow. It almost feels like we have now seen all his variations in playing such a character. New face Gopika Udayan fits into the beauty-description of Kunjeldho. The movie isn’t giving her that much space in terms of performance. Siddique is good in his role, but I must say that off late, we have been seeing too many similar characters offered to the actor. Mithun M Das and Arjun Gopal play the overly foolish good friends of the hero. Co-director Ahammed Khabeer has supplied almost half the cast of June to this movie.
Mathukkutty’s writing is not trying to add layers to the story. He is simply linearly telling the story, and there is a lack of clarity on what part of the story they want to focus on. And because of this lack of clarity, they are just going on narrating the story without bothering about having a sense of intrigue. The beats are familiar, and a few minutes into the second half, you will have a precise idea of what could happen in the movie. Other than the surprising revelation in the interval block, there are no real moments in Kunjeldho that take the story forward uniquely. The music was fine and was mainly on the typical side.
Kunjeldho is a movie that has an interesting conflict at its core. But the script’s focus is not really on the conflict at many points in the film, and the narrative feels highly predictable, making the film an easily forgettable one. Coming from an RJ backdrop, I think Mathukkutty is trying to communicate too many emotions verbally. A little bit of subtlety in the presentation would have helped the movie to have a tidier and focused outlook.
Other than the surprising revelation in the interval block, there are no real moments in Kunjeldho that take the story forward uniquely.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended