When I watched Jolly LLB back when it was released, I remember getting absorbed by the courtroom procedures, primarily because of a fantastic Saurabh Shukla. Even though the movie’s climax seems a bit unrealistic, you sort of feel happy about what happens. Nna Thaan Case Kodu, from director Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval, may not be similar to Jolly LLB in terms of plot or characters. But it also delivers a verdict that we all wish to see but we all know might not happen in a practical world. But how Ratheesh has carried the story won’t make that climax look impractical. With humor being used very effectively to narrate a thought, Nna Thaan Case Kodu is a hilarious courtroom drama that works.
Rajeevan, who used to be a thief, is our central protagonist. He stopped his robbery habits and started to live an everyday life when he fell in love with this Tamil girl named Devi. One day while he was returning home after the festival in the nearby temple, he got bitten by the dogs of the local MLA when he entered MLA’s compound. Since he entered the compound at midnight by jumping the wall, everyone assumed he was a thief, and a case was filed against Rajeevan. Rajeevan’s efforts to prove that he was innocent and how that case escalates is what we see in Nna Thaan Case Kodu.
A PWD minister getting convicted for a pothole case is something one can imagine only happening in a movie. Director Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval somewhere knows that. So Ratheesh’s efforts are to make Rajeevan’s legal journey look plausible to the audience. And that’s where he succeeds. There are no mega twists in the tale where witnesses are popping out of nowhere. At the very beginning itself, we get this CCTV footage that pretty much solves the case and proves that Rajeevan was innocent. But the emphasis of Ratheesh’s script is to go after the root cause of a crime and to explore that he uses his hero’s humiliation as an excuse. And if you look at the movie, some of the major moments result from someone’s ego getting hurt.
Nna Thaan Case Kodu is not really trying to be highly political about the legal issue they are trying to raise. Ratheesh is more interested in presenting a very basic case with multiple witnesses in the most detailed way. In Android Kunjappan itself, he established a signature style of presenting minimalistic conversation-oriented humor, which was there in Senna Hegde’s Thinkalazhcha Nishachayam too. That style of comedy is used here as well, and the conversations are just hilarious. The last time I laughed this much watching a Malayalam movie in a theater was for Jan-e-man. Since the topic is pertinent, Ratheesh isn’t pushing it too much to a loud comedy zone. He uses the characters he has created to do his social commentary on various things. The cinematography opts for an onlooker perspective for most of the movie’s runtime.
Kunchako Boban as Rajeevan was totally believable. From body language to slang, the transformation looked authentic. His slang here isn’t completely Kazargod slang, but it never feels odd. Gayathrie Shankar was good as Rajeevan’s partner Devi. Rajesh Madhavan is hilarious as Sureshan, and the whole theater cracked up for the scene where he was introduced to the judge. The judge, played by PP Kunhikrishnan, looked so real, and the man’s comic timing was impeccable.
They have cast real-life advocates Adv. Gangadharan and Adv. Shukkur as advocates with the same name, and the banter was really entertaining to watch. The police constable who becomes friends with Rajeevan was memorable. Unnimaya Prasad, Mridul Nair, Siby Thomas, etc., are the known names in the cast. Even though it was a very brief role with minimal dialogues, I must say that Basil Joseph as a Judge surprised me. It reminded me of how Soubin silenced the audience with his performance in Kammattipadam.
The pothole issue has a significant connection with the film’s plot, and the coincidence does not just end here. If MVD officials watch this movie, they will also boycott Nna Thaan Case Kodu. With a great cast delivering the humor perfectly on screen, Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval’s movie is an absorbing comedy that knows the audience’s pulse.
With a great cast delivering the humor perfectly on screen, Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval's movie is an absorbing comedy that knows the audience's pulse.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended